Damascus, VA Tragedy – and Outrage

I am outraged by the media’s response to the major accident at the Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus.

About 60 people were injured Saturday when a car plowed into participants and spectators at the Appalachian Trail Days parade in Damascus, Va., sending hundreds of people scattering amid shouts and screams. Nine people were taken to hospitals after the incident at the annual trail festival.

It seems that an old man with a medical condition just lost control of the car he was driving in the parade and hit the walkers in front of him.

They haven’t released his name and I wonder why. The most likely reason is that he lives in the Damascus community and locals are trying to protect him from prosecution, lawsuits and, yes, outrage.

No one is saying that he did this on purpose. Yet, most road accidents are not done on purpose. Still, the perpetrator is known and prosecuted. By the time they think about prosecuting him, it will out of the public eye, except for those who were hurt.

Most of the people injured have lost their dream of continuing the A.T. For many, it is a once-in-a lifetime dream. They save their money, quit their jobs, plan and prepare physically and mentally for their 2,185 mile trek.

I haven’t read any discussion of this aspect of the tragedy, as if hikers aren’t important. The only information on the web repeats all the same facts. The mayor encouraged hikers to participate in the events on Sunday. Would that have happened in a larger city?

Here’s the most complete article on the incident. Still no name of the perp and I am outraged.


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