Getting to Better Know Those Involved in Roadway Carnage

KOB-TV’s Meg Hilling went a little deeper into the effects of a recent hit-and-run crash and is commended for doing so.

kob bike
Still frame from KOB’s story on the incident

Joseph Fricke, cyclist and Golden Pride restaurant employee, was horrifically vaulted 15 or 20 feet into the air as Allen Hackett plowed into him on Central Ave. and Dorothy St. near Juan Tabo Blvd. last week. Mr. Hackett was later caught.

KOB has an interview with Mr. Fricke’s manager at Golden Pride, Darlene Arteaga. In it, she says:

“We’re just like this one big tight family. Like somebody gets hurt, the other one feels it.”

Well stated. In the more indirect sense, Ms. Arteaga’s comment applies to Albuquerque’s cycling community as well. Heck, it should apply to the entire community. Being critically injured by someone wholly incapable of operating a de facto two-ton weapon should concern us all, graphic video or not. We should all “feel it.”

And that video of Mr Fricke violently tossed into the air helps us “feel it.” It is perhaps worth pointing out that we now have three names identified in this story, and that’s about three more than the typical story of a motorist crashing into a non-motorized user of the roadway. That this is the case is noted and commended.

In contrast, an 11-year-old boy was killed trying to cross Moon St. on a bicycle back in mid-June. There is no video of that incident. What little we know is that it appears an 11-year-old unwisely tried to cross a residential street and was struck by a woman driving a SUV.

That story has pretty much disappeared from public consciousness now; there’s no video and blame can seemingly be assigned to the deceased. There will be no follow-up stories on the mental anguish of the woman who drove the SUV. There will be no further discussion debating why motor vehicles are allowed to go fast enough to kill 11-year-old kids on bicycles in residential areas.

Today we at BB acknowledge and thank KOB’s Meg Hilling for interviewing Mr. Fricke’s manager and keeping the public informed on what happened last week at Central and Dorothy. And we also appreciate that the video of the incident has gone “viral.” People need to see what this shit looks like. Especially if not seeing it leads to continued inactivity and indifference concerning severe injuries and deaths on our roadways.

Many of us older Americans remember the almost laughably, gruesome “educational videos,” such as “Mechanized Death,” shown during Driver’s Ed. classes “back in the day.” I don’t know if those are still shown, but I do know/remember that those films are about the only thing most of us remember from those Driver’s Ed. classes.

I really hope they still show those films in Driver’s Ed. 2018, almost laughably gruesome as they are. And I hope we continue to have actual names included in stories covering the inevitable severe injuries and death that will inevitably continue to result from a roadway system favoring speed, “efficiency,” and the “freedom” to drive cars over safety.

Thanks Meg Hilling and KOB. Keep up the good work.



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