Every time I have to go to a fatal accident, I can’t help think about the what if’s. There have been many books, poems, stories and movies written about how people’s lives are often changed by a decision that changes their lives. My friend Mark LaFlamme has a story about a woman who obsessed about her son being killed. If she had not bent over to pick up that penny, everything would be different. Her son would not have died because the time it took her to do that, she would not have been driving under the overpass at the time the piece of concrete fell off and went through her windscreen, killing him instantly. What if. What if Susan Fortier had taken another second to adjust her radio….or…or…or…All the what if’s. Same with Mr. Chabot, driving the truck that hit her.
We have broken away from the pack at the Sun Journal by not allowing just anybody to comment on our stories. We have had far fewer comments than others, but our conversations are more civil and intelligent for the most part. I have started adding my comments to some stories, especially when others are either spreading misinformation, have facts wrong, or are just seeking more information. Following is a comment I posted shortly after others started commenting about this accident, speculating and somewhat accusatory.
In the initial story we published online, we reported that Mr. Chabot was traveling in the middle lane, designated for turning only, as that is was some witnesses said. Later I was told that some said he was not. From the skid marks, it appears he was not, but he could have started to swerve to the right to try avoiding the car pulling out in front of him, and by the time he applied his brakes, he had traveled out of the turning lane. Or, the tractor trailer that was turning could have been in the gigantic breakdown lane and Mr. Chabot was indeed in the travel lane all the time. The state police reconstruction teams are really good at what they do and with the evidence and eye witness accounts, I am pretty confident they will figure out exactly what happened. One thing for certain is that there was a tragic loss of life. I have seen so many of these over the past 30 years I have been a photojournalist, but it still breaks my heart when I am at a scene like this. Perhaps the woman had a mechanical issue with her car, she could have missed the brake and hit the gas instead. However, I would not be surprised if it was just a case of not exercising enough caution. Driver inattentiveness, distractions, and being in a hurry seems to be a factor that is causing more and more accidents these days. Folks, take a little more time, caution and care when driving. As the saying goes, “the life you save, may be yours.” My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the woman who lost her life today……..click here to read the full story