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Monday, June 17, 2013

Cyclist’s death should be a lesson for all drivers: don’t kill people with cars [The Collegian]


At 8 a.m. on May 31, Gail Lynne Kline rode out of Salina on her bicycle, heading west on Crawford Street — a paved county road with no shoulder and a speed limit of 55 mph. Between 8:05 and 8:45 a.m., authorities estimate, Kline was struck from behind by a driver in a large, white van, who fled the scene without reporting the accident. Her unresponsive body was discovered lying beneath her bike in the ditch by a passing motorist, both her back wheel and her shoes knocked off. She was pronounced dead later that morning at Salina Regional Health Center.
49-year-old Gail Kline did not have to die. But it was not Kline who was in the wrong. It was the driver, whose inattentiveness caused the accident and whose cowardice prevented him from reporting it, who killed Gail Kline.
Yet days after the tragic accident, Ben Wearing, executive editor of the Salina Journal, drew a different conclusion. On June 5, in an article condescendingly entitled “You’re Not Training for the Olympics,” Wearing admonished cyclists to stay off county roads.
The May 31 hit-and-run accident that killed Kline, Wearing wrote, marks “an appropriate time for us to make our annual appeal for bicyclists to stay off county roads during harvest.”

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