The C is for Crank

That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

By Erica C. Barnett December 9, 2011

At just before 3:00 in the morning in Kirkland Thursday, a suspected drunk driver in an SUV ran over a 35-year-old cyclist who was riding to work, killing him instantly and destroying his bike. The driver continued on for another block before turning around and coming back to the scene of the collision. The driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and his passenger was questioned by police.

KING-5 quoted a Kirkland police spokesman, who called the cyclist's death "an unfortunate accident.”

An accident, for those unfamiliar with the English language, is something that's nobody's fault---like a tree falling on your house.

Killing someone while driving drunk, in contrast, is the direct result of the driver's decision to: 1) Get loaded and 2) Get behind the wheel of a car.

Lest you think this was a misstatement, not official Kirkland PD policy, they used the same language when a teenage driver who may have been texting swerved onto the shoulder of another road in Kirkland, killing another cyclist in July. That time, they called the death "a terrible accident"---and gave the driver a $42 traffic ticket.

If police have decided that killing someone with your car while driving drunk is unavoidable, then I guess they'll have to stop pulling people over for "accidental" DUIs, "accidentally" running into other cars, "accidentally" driving recklessly, and "accidentally" speeding, too.

Related reading:

The Negligent Driver's Best Defense: "I Didn't See Him"

California Highway Patrol Says Killing a Cyclist is Just Another Accident 
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