January 21, 2009 1 Comment
I live near the scene of this accident. The Washington State Patrol was out investigating this accident for many hours after the car was pulled from the scene. While I don’t know much more than what the Daily Sun News has printed, it is worth noting that East Edison is a long straight road, which people (especially younger drivers) traverse at high rates of speed. While I don’t know the details of this particular accident, I have seen reckless behaviors that are not that uncommon on East Edison.
At various times, and especially at night, cars can be seen racing side by side heading out of town. This is a two lane road with a drain ditch on one side. We can see what happens when a car ends up in the ditch. It is very rare to see the Sunnyside Police patrol this area. It is near the City Limits, on the opposite side of town from the police headquarters, so it is a bit out of the way for them, I suppose.
Sometimes a lone vehicle will be gunning it from the intersection with Highway 241, apparently trying to set new land speed records. It is a wonder we don’t see more cars in the drain ditch, or wrapped around telephone poles.
A friend of mine from my high school days lost his life seeing how fast his vehicle would go one night. I understand the desire to go on a thrill ride. However, city streets are not the place to do it.
An alternative would be to get involved with some of the local race tracks we have in Yakima County. It is a safer, more controlled environment, where young drivers can satisfy the need for speed. The Yakima Speedway has youth divisions, and there is also dirt track racing near the fairgrounds which hosts racing for youths.
Locally, we could hold races which could channel some of this youth energy into something productive. We could convert the Sunnyside Airport into a drag strip for a racing weekend, for example. I don’t know much about airport regulations to know if this is practical, but the runway is long, straight, and has room to the sides if a car lost control. There is very little activity there, so it could be a way to raise money and visibility. I don’t know that the City is doing anything else to promote the airport, and we need to do more to offer positive alternatives for our youth. It could be a fun event.