Most of you have probably heard about this by now, but if not: Yesterday a Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy veered across Stevens Canyon Road in the hills west of Cupertino and rammed a group of road cyclists out on a training run. One died at the scene, the second died hours later. A third was critically injured but survived. From this morning’s Mercury News:
Coming around a bend near a straightaway, the deputy accidentally crossed the center line and struck the group, Morrissey said. He called for help and immediately began CPR on one of the fallen cyclists, Morrissey said.
The sheriff’s office did not release the names of the victims. But friends and bicycling Web sites identified the dead cyclists as Matt Peterson, 30, of San Francisco, and Kristy Gough, 31, of Oakland. Peterson died at the scene of the crash and Gough died several hours later after she was airlifted to Stanford University Hospital. Before and after she died, dozens of cyclists gathered at the hospital.
A 20-year-old man, identified by friends as Christopher Knapp of Germany, was seriously injured and was listed in stable condition Sunday night at Stanford University Hospital. The fourth rider was not hurt, CHP officer Todd Thibodeau said.
Eyewitnesses told local TV stations they overheard the deputy saying he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Mind you this is fourth hand by the time you’re getting it from me, so take that with a gain of salt.
The article at the Chron’s page generated over 180 comments at last look, most of them the usual empty speculation blaming whoever they assume to be blameworthy based on knowing none of the facts at hand.
This thread at bikeforums.com is a bit more sane, though they do get a bit preoccupied with the initial news reports — which are always based on tiny scraps of known facts — that don’t square with their way of seeing things.
We’d all be best served at times like these to think of the friends, families, teammates and co-workers of the deceased. We’re not going to be able to ease their pain but we can, at the very least, not make it worse.