The worst crime in the county
Residents here still routinely leave the doors to their cars and homes unlocked, if you want a more telling sign about fear of crime in the High Country than Tipsline shriekers and professional worriers.
No, the crime to fear here is more pernicious. You can’t lock yourself away, either. Drunken driving is our deadliest foe. It’s so common it’s hardly news, though a letter to the editor today makes the point it certainly ought to be, considering the damage done by drunks on the road.
On a New Year’s Eve in Vail Village we’re all proud had passed without a repeat of the rampage a couple of years ago, two young adults got run over by an alleged drunken driver on the Frontage Road. One remains hospitalized with severe injuries.
Down the freeway at the Gypsum interchange an 19-year-old kid died last week when a car going nearly 90 in a 30 mph zone flew off the overpass.
Memory calls up the drunken lady on a bicycle who tipped and died beside the Eagle River in Edwards. The fellow who ended a night of drinking by rolling his pickup over himself, as it turned out. This list from the past couple of years alone can go on and on and on … Ask any emergency services worker.
These aren’t typically evil, depraved people. They just drank too much and lost their judgment; too bad they couldn’t lose their keys at the same time. They make the case for technology fitted to automobiles that would require a quick breath test, as well as the key, to turn over the engine before putting the driver – and many others – in harm’s way.
The sad part is that instead of the outrage that all-too-routinely rails at poor immigrants who truly scrape by, one imagined sin or another of the wealthy, or at the burdens of some of the lowest taxes in the country – drunken driving and all its consequences merit little more than a shrug and maybe a muttered “what a pity” outside the circle of friends and loved ones of the victims.
Shooting a dog attracts a lot more concern than the humans killed or injured on our local roads at the hands of drunks.
What is wrong with us?
Generally, the movie and TV stars come here to relax and take a break from the rigors of celebrity. All those parties, all those people who love you, all that money. It can be quite a burden, we’re told. So, sure, it’s a little odd when one of the hoi polloi with a actual job, as a Vail firefighter, stars in a “reality” show, “The Bachelorette.” Is he booked for the American Ski Classic yet? A truly local celeb entry would only be fitting. Can he ski? D.R.