Triathlete and Senate candidate's life tragically ended by hit and run driver
Posted Sep 22 2010 12:54pm
We have so many serious and deeply troubling questions that we don't even know where to begin...so let's start with the facts as reporter by the nation press.
According to the Washington Post Maryland Green Party U.S. Senate candidate 30-year-old Natasha Pettigrew was killed while riding her bike when she was struck by a Cadillac Escalade as she was training for a half iron distance triathlon.
The Washing Post reports that Pettigrew was critically injured on Route 202 about 5:30 a.m. on Sunday:
"Pettigrew was hit by a sport-utility vehicle traveling near the intersection of Campus Way. State police said the driver apparently thought she had hit a deer or another animal and realized what had happened only when she arrived home and found Pettigrew's bicycle trapped under her car. Pettigrew was not dragged by the vehicle but suffered severe injuries, police said.
The driver, who police identified as Christy R. Littleford, 41, called Prince George's County police sometime before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday to report the crash. County police then relayed the information to state police, who were on the scene.
"She had driven to her home and called from her home," said Greg Shipley, a Maryland State Police spokesman. "The initial indication was that she thought she may have hit a deer or an animal in the roadway. . . . When she arrived home and saw the bicycle, she assumed it was something else."
The Post goes on to report that:
"investigators are trying to determine whether Pettigrew had reflective clothing on or had operating lights during her pre-dawn ride, but it was not obvious at the scene that she did.
Police said it does not appear that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. State police are investigating the incident, and no charges have been filed."
Those are the reported facts.
Here are just a few of our questions.
1) How do you hit a cyclist and continue down the road as if you just hit a bug with your windshield?
2) The Cadillac Escalade has just over 8 inches of ground clearance. That's about the size of a typical bike seat. How do you drag a bike home under the car without hearing the painful grinding of metal on cement and seeing the subsequest sparks from the bike being dragged under the car?
3) Why are police so concerned if Pettigrew had reflective clothing on? We would think they would be more concerned as to why Christy R. Littleford left the scene of the hit and run?
4) Why did it take Christy R. Littleford one hour to call police after she struck Pettigrew?
5) How long was it before EMS services were called to the scene of the hit and run. And, could have timely and immediate medical care saved Pettigrew's life?
6) Why has Christy R. Littleford (a full three days after accident) not been charged with any offence?
7) Why is it that cyclist are treated as second class citizens in the United States?
8) Why is that when riding a bike your life has so little value when you get hit by a car?
In many parts of this country police no longer have any discretion when answering a domestic violence call. In other words, police (by law) are mandated to arrest both parties in the case.
This is because for far too long women (mostly) were abused by their husbands, partners, and boy friends and forgot (willingly or otherwise) about the abuse when police were called to the home.
These laws are specifically designed to protect the person who is the subject of the abuse.
In our opinion we think it is high time that same law applies to any car vs. bike altercation...if only for the safety of the cyclist because for far too long the laws and the police of this land seem to presume the cyclist guilty...even when the driver leaves the scene of the accident and drags the evidence of their tragic action home under the car with them.