LETTER- Walk sign didn't matter

I think too many people are making too much of the pedestrian/cop incident ["Wheelchair shocker: Viewers find accident video disturbing," January 10]. Both operators were at fault. That's why it's called an accident.

If you watch closely, the impact does not "send the handicapped Charlottesville artist tumbling out of his chair." Mr. Mitchell falls out of his chair after it moves a good distance. If Mr. Mitchell was wearing a seatbelt while operating a motorized vehicle, he wouldn't have fallen out.

The few paralyzed people I know wear a belt to keep themselves in the seat. Is this what we need? More laws to make everyone do what should be common sense?

Everyone in the media seems to ignore the fact that Mr. Mitchell crossed against the signal. His signal is the crosswalk signal, not the green and red lights over the intersection. If I was driving through an intersection I wouldn't expect a motorized wheelchair to come zooming across the street against the signal. The officer most likely didn't either.

Also, towards the end of the video clip, do you notice the two motorists who couldn't wait for the officer to move his vehicle before driving through the intersection?

I'm sorry that Mr. Mitchell was hurt. Maybe if everyone slowed down and was more considerate, problems like these wouldn't occur. Fanning the flames of this story just creates more animosity and discontent.

Finally, does Kevin Cox listen to the radio while driving his car? While operating his car, his job is to pay attention to traffic signals, other motorists, pedestrians, etc. Who cares what music was on the radio?

Daniel Brown


1 comment

Daniel, like most people who simply don't give a damn, you have overlooked the real issue. It doesn't matter who had the right of way. If you are operating a 4,500+ pound car on the public highways and can't see somebody as big as a large man in a wheelchair in your periperal vision, you have no business holding a driver's license in Virginia. This is why your peripheral vision is cheecked by DMV. Obviously the cop involved in this "accident" (I prefer to call it vehicular assault) must have passed his peripheral vision test at DMV in order to obtain and posess a Virginia driver's license. Therefore the only plausible explantion that remains is the fact the cop wasn't paying attention. And it's reported he immediately apologized to Mr. Mitchell and explained he was looking down and not paying attention to where he was going. Then the circling of the wagons with the police agencies came along. Mr. Mitchell is charged and the cop skates free. You have to remember this was right on the heels of a city police jeep almost running over two citizens in a crosswalk and arresting them for wrongdoing as a result of his mistake. Both cases are the typical "us vs them" mentality of police agencies nationwide now. There is little doubt in my mind that you would feel differently if it was a family member of yours in the wheelchair.