They Merit More Than This

This week my nephew is returning from a two-year stint in Wisconsin.  His birthday is Wednesday, the 13th.  He loves to tell the story of how I held him from the time he was four hours old until he was eight hours old; he really does.

In January 2000 I was in Ohio where, among other things, I was finishing my degree in Religious Studies. I was living in Bedford and working full-time at the hospital. Over the weekend, my mother had gone to St. Al’s where she was in on one day, then out the following day, so I wasn’t too worried.  Then her doctor called me at work Monday afternoon.  She thought I should come immediately.  I was home in Boise the next night. She died Friday afternoon.  Her funeral was the 19th. In the midst of all this, my nephew had his birthday and we hadn’t remembered, not until  it had passed.  After my mother’s funeral we had gone out to eat and it was in figuring all the nieces, nephews, and cousins ages that we realized we had forgotten Matty’s birthday.  He hadn’t even reminded us either; he was 12.

In August of last year Tom and Mary Woychick were killed on their home from morning mass at Our Lady of the Rosary. They were killed as they crossed Park Center Blvd at East Gossamer Lane not far from their home.  This was a couple I knew semi-well while attending St. Paul’s parish for a couple of years at BSU where I served on the parish council for a time.

It’s now been five months.  No charges have been filed against the driver.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, has been reported since a correction printed in the Idaho Statesman regarding the nature of the toxicology testing on the driver responsible for the deaths of the Woychicks.

Why the reticence in this case?  What’s holding up the investigation?  Whose John W. Tiemann, the man who was driving the SUV that rammed into the Woychicks in that crosswalk?  Are the Woychick’s children involved in the investigation as well?   Are they reluctant to pursue this?  I could understand reluctance on their part, surely.

Not long after the Woychicks were killed I had emailed Matt.  He’s enquired a few times as to the ‘progress’ in what’s transpiring.’  As an avid biker, he was very aware of the number of deaths last summer of bicyclists, and pedestrians.  The discussions repeatedly turned to what might or could have been preventable.

My mother’s death wasn’t preventable.  She had a specific syndrome and it ran its course.  No one was at fault; no one specifically was responsible, not even her.  There is someone responsible for the death of Mary and Tom Woychick and may have been quite preventable.  I guarantee you, had this been my mother, I would be looking for some answers.

As one commenter wrote here recently:

Has the investigation been completed? Are there any charges filed? Does running over two people in a crosswalk merit no more than a shrug? Whatever the “reason” why this “accident” occurred, we seem to have set and are reinforcing with one case after another, a standard in Boise that if you kill someone on bike or on foot with your vehicle, it’s considered a victimless crime and should have no consequences.

This isn’t a victimless crime….

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