Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An Afternoon's Work

Yesterday was one of those days as a reporter. Early in the afternoon I was in court for a sentencing for a young man who was driving drunk and speeding down a narrow winding road, careened off the road into a tree and killed two of the passengers in his car. The photos above are from a little memorial at the site of the crash, which is about a mile from our house. It was horrible being in court. Lots of tears from family members and friends and in the end the judge sentenced the fellow to 20 years in prison. It was just brutal in there. Reporters are supposed to be detached observers -- just the facts, you know -- but it's not so easy sitting there. Maybe I'll write more about what went on in the courtroom, how the guy getting sentenced was sitting at the defendants' table next to his lawyer and at one point dropped his head on his left arm -- he lost half of his right arm in the accident -- and started sobbing. Or how the grandmother of one of the victims looked at him and said, "We don't hate you Jamie." Or how the mother of one of the victims said they had to move because they lived across the street from the driver, who she would see walking "carefree" down the street in the months before his sentencing.

You can read the story here: http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_moore_0804aug04,0,2985895.story

I get home to write the story and find an e-mail in my inbox about a 20-year-old knucklehead who jumped off the 90-foot-high Coleman Bridge -- and lived to tell about it. I didn't have much time to write the story, but I wrote it first because I was dreading writing about the drunk driver. Some things you just marvel at. This bridge jumper's survival is one of those.

Here's the story: http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_jumper_0804aug04,0,2425929.story

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