Ride in Peace, Stephen Michael Clift

Old bad news rarely, if ever, gets better. It often gets even worse.

When I originally read about the death of San Diegan, Stephen Michael Clift while riding through Texas it was bad enough. The most recent update makes it even worse, as if a needless death could get worse. 

You're going to need to excuse the language if you read any further.


What the fuck - Texas law enforcement has announced that no charges will be filed in the death of Stephen Michael Clift, even after the driver of the vehicle that hit and killed him admitted to having looked away at the time of impact. Have we just completely given up on any fucking responsibility when driving? How the hell is this allowed to happen, and how much longer will we tolerate the completely unnecessary, and easily avoidable, loss of life on the nations roads and highways. Negligence, especially when it results in the loss of another human life should not be rewarded with a get out of jail free card, even when the negligence was unintended.

If you are unfamiliar, Stephen Clift was riding cross country by bicycle in an effort to raise awareness about the plight and needs of America's military veterans when he was hit near Groom in Texas. As we so often hear, the driver claimed that she never saw Clift as he rode along the shoulder, an admission that should immediately, and automatically, raise red flags with any responding law enforcement officer. Much has changed since this story first broke - the tractor-trailer that hit Mr. Clift has become a Kia (quite a big turn-about) so I will keep a little hope that something a little more just may evolve. But only a little.

I am going to give the driver the benefit of doubt, and believe that she will live with the regret and guilt of her actions for the remainder of her life. Unfortunately, the family and friends of Mr. Clift will be forced to as well. Life may not be fair, as the saying goes, but we should strive to make it so, and this is far from equitable. 

Your car, your god-damned responsibility. Keep your fucking eyes on the road.

Comments

  1. Mike was my cousin. I can't tell you how incredibly frustrating it is to hear that (as of now) no charges will be filed. The negligence of a single person has permanently scarred the lives of Mike's family, as well as literally hundreds of vets that Mike knew and advocated for. Hopefully there will be an outcry within the cycling community to start holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. If these incidents continue to get swept under the rug, inattentive driving will continue, and so will the deaths.

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    1. Hey! Someone needs to reach out to Mike's Daughter Jordan... according to our research she may be acting out from sorrow and getting in trouble with San Diego PD. We need to keep her safe. SFAwareness Group

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  2. Jay, thanks for sharing. First, let me express my regrets for what you are having to go through. As a society we, I think, have become incredibly inured to traffic deaths or, as some are calling it, traffic violence and seem to have accepted it as a given. It is important for us, as cyclists, to not let that happen when it affects someone in our small community.

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  3. Hey! Someone needs to reach out to Mike's Daughter Jordan... according to our research she may be acting out from sorrow and getting in trouble with San Diego PD. We need to keep her safe.

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    Replies
    1. I'll see what I can do, but she is a hard one to get in touch with.

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