Sometimes you don’t even have to pay a $1,000 fine in order to kill a pedestrian with your car in Eugene. Sometimes you will just be charged with a DUII misdemeanor, but not manslaughter or murder. On July 24th Dallin Steward (19) was driving drunk and killed Nicholas Tendick (32) as he was crossing the Ferry Street Bridge near Club Rd. It was dark (10 pm) and judging by the lack of criminal charges, it seems the police are blaming Tendick.
If this was the end of it I wouldn’t be bitching about it. Sometimes people do jump in front of your car and it’s not 100% your fault for hitting them (although unless your job requires it, it is your fault that you chose to drive that day rather than take the bus or ride a bike. Hell, I had a guy on bike cut me off when I was riding 20mph near Willamette and 32nd and we collided, but we both were fine because I’d chosen to ride a bike and not drive that day. If I’d been in a car the biker would have been dead. I saved his life with my choice to bike and not drive.)
However, Steward was drunk. If he had been sober he could possibly have seen or avoided Tendick and saved his life. However, he wasn’t. He was drunk. Drunk drunk drunk drunk. He killed a man while driving drunk, and all he is getting is a slap on the wrist. Whatever happened to automatically being at fault when driving drunk? If Steward had chosen to drive sober, or better yet ridden a bike, taken a taxi, called friend, or taken a bus home, Tendick could still be alive.
This is yet another example of the disgusting “it could happen to me” car culture BS that we have in this country. When you choose to drive a car you put everyone around you at risk of death or grave injury. This is a fact. If you, like me, feel that this is unacceptable, DRIVE LESS and when you have to drive, DRIVE BETTER. Cars are not healthy for children and other living things.