Here’s one for ya. Yesterday morning a young woman (with whom I’m acquainted) gets into her car, starts it, then remembers she left something in the house. It’s cold outside — she leaves the car running to get the heat going and heads back into the house. She’s inside for less than a minute. When she returns, her car is GONE.
What happens? Some Darwin Awards applicant steals her car, and just a few miles away collides head on with another vehicle — a man driving his two kids to school. The idiot thief is ejected through the windshield (unfortunately he was not decapitated in the process), the two kids get by with a few scrapes, and the driver of the other car is in the hospital for several days (click the picture to see a bigger version of it).
According to witness statements (from the story in the Idaho Statesman), the thief was driving between 60 – 70 mph in the oncoming traffic lane.
That may be pretty stupid, but some of the comments about this story on the Statesman’s website take stupidity to a whole new level.
One obsessive compulsive “person” who goes by the name “msmidaho” couldn’t have been more compassionate. msmidaho said:
“The owner of the stolen car is responsible for this accident, it is against the law in Ada county to leave a running car unattended, had the owner of the car followed the law the scumbag wouldnt have been able to steal it and cause all the damage.”
My wife (who works with the owner of the stolen vehicle) and I sat reading that with our jaws open, both of us stunned by this incredulous logic.
Part of what’s ruining this country is what I call chain-reaction blame, and msmidaho seems to be an advocate.
Here’s part of my response to msmidaho:
… Using this logic, the next time you don’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign and a pedestrian shakes his head at you, and gets a stiff neck due to an odd muscle movement when doing so, which causes him to miss work, which causes someone to have to work late, and that someone gets killed in an accident on the way home, then you are responsible.
After all, if you had just followed the law and came to a complete stop, the person wouldn’t have shook his head, and he wouldn’t have missed work, and the other person wouldn’t have worked late, and wouldn’t have been driving at the time of the accident. It’s all your fault.
Slippery slope, that kind of thinking. Where does the chain of responsibility stop? The OWNER of the STOLEN car is responsible for the accident?!? Any perspective, in California, here, or otherwise, that the owner of the car is responsible is just another example of the demise of common sense.
In the last paragraph I refer to California because apparently — according to the discussion on the comments page — the laws there DO make the person who left her car running responsible for the accident. Holy shit! What the hell is the world coming to?
It is my firm opinion that slippery-slope chain-reaction blame ought to be a category for the Darwin Awards. Asinine logic like that is going to send society down the tubes.