I was invited to provide a victim statement for the criminal case against the man who killed Kim. I was asked three questions. Here is my reply to the first. I, of course, wrote this under the stress of the moment. I am posting these thoughts but not inviting comment.
Items 2 and 3 from the letter are “The circumstances surrounding the crime” and “The manner in which the crime was perpetrated.”
Kim and I have been driving on the highway together for 24 years. When we drive together on long trips, the passenger will often point out cars that were behind us and are now out of view to make sure the driver noticed as well. The driver always notices.
By this I mean, no one is in our blind spot without us knowing.
In fact, something that irks us both as drivers is when someone pulls into our blind spot and stays there as it’s dangerous. We were both careful not to do this to another driver. If we pull out to pass a driver and they speed up so that we would be in their blind spot, we slow down and pull back in behind that driver.
I mention this for two reasons.
First, Kim was very aware of when she was in another driver’s blind spot.
Second, I expect a professional driver to proceed with at least as much care and awareness of who may be in his blind spot.
I’ve been told that the defendant moved into Kim’s lane and that she was in his blind spot. Physics suggests that she wasn’t. If she were then I would expect the impact to carry her to the right of the truck. The fact that she was struck from behind and spun ahead of the truck suggests that the inertia was such that the truck was going faster than the car at the time and struck her propelling her forward and into a spin. It is unlikely that she had been in his blind spot when he overtook her. It is more likely that he didn’t notice her. Whether she was in his blind spot or not, it is his job to ensure that she is not before he moves into her lane.
I don’t know whether the defendant was tired or careless or otherwise impaired. I do know that he is a professional driver in command of a vehicle that has mass many times that of my wife’s car. Again physics makes it most certain that when he drove his vehicle into hers, he was likely to survive while she was not.