by Anura Guruge
Second fatal accident, close to home, in two days.
First we had the head-on, overtaking on Route 11 crash in Alton (N.H.) Sunday night. WMUR still doesn’t have any additional news on this. I this morning, on my near daily run up Prospect Mountain Road, was talking to an Alton Policeman who was doing traffic duty — PSNH trimming trees by the road. He was called to the accident. He said, without going into details, that it was terrible.
Now this tragic accident in Laconia.
Laconia, to us, is still ‘home’. We go there often. We were there last Thursday. We ‘know’ these folks on the heavily decorated, flags-aloft, motorized wheelchairs in Laconia. We have seen them in front of Vista. I think there are at least three of them. I have waved to them and have said ‘Hi’ when I see them at the Laconia Multicultural Day.
Got me thinking about fatal traffic accidents around here and in N.H. in general. I could NOT be sure whether a fatality was normal or whether these two fatal accidents, back-to-back, very close to home just struck a nerve. So I did some quick cursory research. I, at least for now, couldn’t find very contemporaneous data. Most of what I could find was from 2009 — when it appears that there was a major national survey. 14,000 fatal accidents for the year in 2009. 40 a day! I was surprised — and that is good news. So, in reality, less than one death, per state, per day. WOW. Who would have thought.
The fatality rate for N.H. seems to be around the 110 mark per year. So that is like one every three days. So two in a day, though not off the chart, is a tad askew.
The fatality rates have been going down and had hit a 47-year low in 2010. But, they are on the increase and the police thinks it is because of excessive speeding. So this got me even MORE riled up about that editorial column in the Alton/Barnstead/New Durham local paper, ‘The Baysider‘, where the Editor, Josh Spaulding, BOASTS about driving at near 90 mph! That is criminal speeding. Boasting about that in print, in an editorial column, by an Editor, is morally reprehensible. But, NH being what it is nobody, other than me, will even mention this blatant disregard of civic responsibility. Frank Chilinski, the President & Publisher of ‘The Baysider’, said or did NOTHING. I guess he thought it was funny. He doesn’t live in NH.
Got me thinking (given it is very hard to get me to stop thinking). Just a few weeks ago there were all these calls, nationwide, to boycott Wolfeboro, NH because of an inane remark made by a senile Police Commissioner. Well I said that folks should NOT boycott Wolfeboro because of the dumb Police Commissioner but that they should, by all means, boycott Wolfeboro for the unsolved murder of poor Stacey Burns. Well, as of now I am going to amend that. Boycott Wolfeboro, N.H. for the unsolved (5-year) murder of Stacey Burns and for harboring and glorifying a newspaper editor, Josh Spaulding, who glorifies criminal speeding in print, in a local newspaper read by teens, when the NH police is concerned that speed is increasing fatalities in N.H.
That is it for the day on this. Yes, I feel better now that I got that off my chest. Yes, irresponsible writing, First Amendment protected or otherwise, irks me.