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Two Different Outcomes

A 61 year old woman from Oregon is the latest innocent victim of a drunk driver. She died in Pahoa on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 due to injuries incurred when she flew off a motorcycle which had just been hit by a sedan that didn’t yield. The sedan was being driven by a 52 year old man from Pahoa who has now been arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, negligent injury, DUI, driving without a license and driving without insurance.

The woman was the passenger on the motorcycle – the driver suffered serious injuries as well. There they were, out for a pleasant ride, not expecting that someone wouldn’t pay attention to the traffic laws. There they were, one life lost, and the other tragically changed for good. The sedan driver was arrested, but it doesn’t say he was hurt.

If he didn’t have a license or insurance, it seems likely that this may have happened before. Unfortunately, there is no sure way that any government officials can completely prevent a person from getting into a car and driving while intoxicated. Some bad things just happen. Hopefully this guy will regret it so much that he will seek the help that he needs to get and stay sober.

In a second story from the Hawaii State News, a pilot reported to work at AirTran Airways over in Minneapolis with alcohol on his breath. Thankfully, one of the other employees reported it and the airline was quick to act. The pilot was seated in the front seat of the Boeing 717 when security men arrived and escorted him out. He was given a blood alcohol test,, and his level was 0.05, higher than the FAA allowable 0.04 percent.

Now, it took guts for that employee to report him, and hopefully there won’t be an repercussions for it if they work together again in the future. But it was his/her own life as well as those of the passengers and the pilot that were being protected. As for the driver of the sedan, one wonders if anyone saw him get in and drive away. Were they afraid to report him to the police because he would get angry at them later?

It’s important to step up, like the airline employee did. Lives are at stake, and so is property, and so is reputation.

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