Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tragic accident major news, regardless of cause

Several acquaintances of Marvin Ginter are unhappy with us at the Telegraph Herald.
Mr. Ginter was a driver in the March 11 traffic collision in which two people were killed and he and two others were injured. Another motorist was injured in a collision a few minutes earlier.

A few days later, we carried a Page 1A report that, for a six-minute period, Mr. Ginter was involved in a series of collisions.

The article, based on police reports and witness accounts, also stated that authorities would not speculate on possible causes until they receive the results of standard lab tests.

Defenders of Mr. Ginter objected. “YOU SHOULD GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU PRINT A FRONT PAGE STORY ABOUT SOMEONE,” began one message. It was representative of the complaints we fielded. (Most of the phone calls and notes we received were anonymous. Why?)

In any case, the objectors state that Mr. Ginter’s erratic driving was due to a medical condition, not drugs or alcohol. They might be right. However, as of this writing, the lab results have not been released. As our story stated. The authorities said they would not speculate, and our story did not speculate.

“PLEASE SET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT AND APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR CRUEL NOT WELL THOUGHT OUT ARTICLE,” the letter of complaint concluded.

Regardless of the factors behind it, this tragedy occurred. In a bizarre and frightening series of events, there were collisions with vehicles and property. Two people were killed. Four people were injured.
Is this not news? If a medical condition were a factor, does that mean that the tragedy did not occur? Does it somehow reduce the loss experienced by friends and family of those killed, or lessen the injuries of the survivors, including Mr. Ginter?

We reported what happened, based on interviews and official reports. When further facts emerge — starting with the lab results — we will report updates on this tragic event.

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