Or You Might Call it Attempted Homicide

Apparently, we have come to accept the destructiveness and sociopathy of American car culture as so thoroughly normal and mundane that even when a guy intentionally uses his SUV to try to kill five people after a fight, we still call it an "accident." This little gem was found by Starts & Fits in today’s New York Times:

May 18, 2006 Man Strikes 5 With S.U.V. in North Bellmore, N.Y. By JENNIFER 8. LEE A man intentionally ran over five people in North Bellmore, with an S.U.V. after a fight last night, the Nassau County police said. The driver fled the scene of the accident, at 2800 Pacific Ave. But the police later located the vehicle they believed was involved in the accident in Garden City and took the driver in for questioning. The victims were taken to Nassau University Medical Center, the police said. One was in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

  • Oh. My. God. That’s like saying that some guy who drunkenly beat five people half to death with his unbrella “got in an unbrella accident”

  • Maybe they’re thinking that someone stupid enough to buy an SUV lacks the mental capacity to form the requisite intent to commit attempted homicide.

    Or something like that.

  • Mitch

    It should be noted that traffic engineers seem to be dropping “accident” from their vocabulary, on the theory that most such mishaps are somebody’s fault, even if no harm was intended. In Wisconsin, the preferred term is “crash;” the State DOT even went to the trouble a few years ago of changing the wording on existing signs.

    Maybe the New York Times style manual needs to be updated.

  • Eric M.

    Thanks for putting that up. It has inspired me to coin a new term: Iraqcidentâ„¢.

  • Mitch

    “Iraqcident” implies that the mess over there is nobody’s fault. I prefer “Qrash.”

  • At least they could have used the word “assault” or “attack.”

    Reminds me of that old Disney short “Motor Mania” featuring Goofy as the civil “Mr. Walker” vs. the homicidal maniac “Mr. Wheeler.”

    I doubt very seriously a film like “Motor Mania” would get made today, even though the lessons are even more relevant.

    Instead we get Pixar’s feature length “Cars.”

  • Shall we sic Norman Oder on the Grey Lady to extract a correction?

  • firefighter

    Public safety workers, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics and 9-1-1 dispatchers are also dropping the word “accident.”

    As a firefighter of 12 years, I can attest that of the literally hundreds of injurious, damaging and sometimes fatal motor vehicle incidents I’ve seen, the truly “accidental” can be counted on one hand.


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