Sometimes the news is so bad, I don’t even want to write about it.
Or anything else, for that matter.
That’s the case today, after six innocent people were killed, and eight injured, by a speeding driver who ran a red light in LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood yesterday afternoon.
The driver, reported to be a traveling nurse in her 40s, was traveling at an excessive rate of speed when she blew through the stop light at La Brea and Slauson directly into heavy cross traffic.
One of the cars immediately exploded into a fireball, as witnesses described bodies and debris raining into a gas station on the opposite corner.
At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, with one victim found inside a burned-out car hours later.
The victims included a pregnant woman; both she and her baby were killed, along with another infant.
The injured included several other children, ranging in age from 13 months to 15-years old.
Video of accident at Slauson/La Brea pic.twitter.com/eiRiejQTi5
— Downtown LA Scanner (@DowntownLAScan) August 4, 2022
The driver was hospitalized with serious injuries, and being held in custody as she receives treatment. At least one report indicated she wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol, because they wouldn’t have shown up after the emergency medications she received at the scene and in the ER.
As others have noted, the design of the wide, multilane intersection and straight roadways engineered for high-speed traffic have to be seen as major contributory factors, along with cars capable of exceeding the speed limit to such a degree.
The technology exists to reign in speeding drivers; we just refuse to use it. And fail to demand it.
On a personal note, I have only watched the video above a single time. But that’s all it took to burn it into my consciousness; I’ve been unable to stop seeing that image as it plays over and over in my head.
And with it comes a renewed sense of failure and despair. I’ve been working for safer streets for a decade and a half now, while others have struggled for much longer. We’ve all seen decades of promises from city officials to do something.
But it’s always too little, too late. If they do anything at all.
LA’s Vision Zero program will be seven years old later this month, just three years from that magic date when we were promised traffic deaths would be eliminated, once and for all. Instead, they have steadily increased, with bike riders and pedestrians paying a disproportionate cost.
La Brea was one of the the first streets identified as part of the city’s High Injury Network, and should have seen significant efforts to tame traffic violence.
Yet it has been allowed to languish as an over-designed, high-speed car sewer. And now six people have paid the price for that inaction in a single fiery incident.
Six innocent people.
We’re bound to hear more about it in the days to come, as city officials mourn the victims and make more promises that they will inevitably fail to fulfill.
I’m disgusted and angry with it all.
I hope you are, too.
We’ll be back on Monday with our usual Morning Links. But right now, I don’t even want to think about it.
Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.
That looked an awful lot like a sleeping driver whose foot on the gas went straight to the floor. This is why you don’t drive tired.
But people drive sleep deprived because very little punishment awaits when caught. Society green lights such catastrophe even new cars do not require what they should from drivers.
The nurse and her employer ETC are dirty but just humans driving in 2022 is wrong and innocence is a matter of degree. The three adults who died in cars contributed we all know cars are not needed much at all here but persist INDEEED WE DO in far too many being used at once.
Not gonna change this by increments tomorrow’s adults have parents who will groom or abstain.
Some dump truck speeding like this could of killed dozens the concentration of vehicles in same high speed direction too close impose continous risk since keeping cross traffic out is a material fencing matter but we gamble our lives depending on strangers honor.
Future terrorists are inspired by the fire show shown as the mayhem such fragile systems can impose is untapped.
Those sleeping are scary enough but what about the increasing number of evil actors looking for targets? Harden we must as our enemies are folly to trust.
To fully respect our innocence we must be forgiven and that requires we change. Tens of thousands of lives so lost annually in our country is reason enough and we increasingly have the means. I woke this morning meditating on what the cost recovery fare would need to be for new subway lines. Hundreds of dollars to board? That waste of money versus micro mobility a recent competitor not getting such funding is by design. Burning billions to protect such intersections as NOrmal to literally bury those not joining the ruckus. It is not a societal good to waste so much in such use of cars. They are not returning to us what we invest in mere money in them before blood and loss of planetary habitability are factored in.
We can learn and videos like this help. Be afraid I say of being in a car WITHOUT necessity to risk your life and worse others. Prudence demands acknowledged fear and aversion to it. There is no safe trip only luckyness. Gambling can be sick.
Until recently trips were far safer. Before Dam Cars RULED.
Buying gasoline is more than a vantage place to witness what results. It is the vice that fuels the killing and destruction along with gasoline car simulators however esteemed there spin.
Our bodies just don’t fit in such contraptions sanely. They do die by them insanely. Facts argued with are wasted opportunities to react right.
Just say no DUH.
The driver was a wasted woman, a traveling c0 vid nurse, angry at her boyfriend. Sounds soulless to me.
Wow, this is one of the worst articles on this subject ever written. The ideas are without merit and the ignorance is almost frightening. I’d recommend not quitting your day job.
Thanks, but this is my day job.
Ted, I can only imagine the frustration and anger you feel when reporting news as grim as this. However, I do appreciate your efforts, and I’m sure many others do, too. You motivate me (sadly, almost every day) to work for a better future.
Yeah, stuff like this is why I changed the focus of my blog to building cars I’ll never be able to drive. After trying to get treatment for depression and PTSD caused by reading all those gory reports.