Drivers need to pay better attention

Editor of the Reformer:

It is sad to hear of another loss of life of a pedestrian in Brattleboro. There could be so many reasons for this death: bad weather, speed, distracted driving or substance abuse. To add to the problem, this was a hit and run.

I have come to the conclusion that the only place where it is somewhat safe to cross the street in Brattleboro, in darkness or bad weather, is at a traffic light. I don’t think cross walks are very safe during the day and I think they are truly hazardous at night. I wrote a letter to the Reformer last year about witnessing (in daylight) a driver texting while driving through a crosswalk where a pedestrian was starting to cross. I guess you can do all sorts of things to improve the crosswalks but if drivers are speeding and not paying attention, it’s not going to work.

Ingrid Bennett,

Saxtons River, Dec. 8

Reflections from
Friday night’s tragedy

Editor of the Reformer:

Friday night Eugene Narratt was hit by a vehicle on Union Street and Western Avenue. I was walking home from yoga and still in a relatively meditative state. In retrospect, my encounter with this tragedy was a real wake up call and another reality. I am writing now, because it is therapeutic.

I am not going to glorify the drama that took place that took place that Friday night. Trauma is real.

I was among the first witnesses at the incident. I don’t carry a cell phone. I waved down a car and instructed the driver to get on her cell phone and call an ambulance. She did. She got out of her car and relayed details concisely and with confidence (seemingly). The small crowd that gathered, while waiting for help, was respectful of my "I am in charge" attitude. I knew the man should not be touched and said so. I asked myself and other’s to talk to the man and keep him present. The police and the ambulance arrived and did their job well.

One of the factors of this traumatic scene that I noted in the chaos of it all was how survivor’s guilt plays a prominent role. Speaking for myself, I wished in retrospect that I had projected a calmer, more composed manner while trying to reassure the man, conscious or not.

Other bystanders seemed, in a surreal way, to be thinking guilt ridden thoughts of their own. The nurse, who felt perhaps she should have administered CPR despite what she had learned in nursing school. Or the neighbor who had for 13 years tried and failed to make this dangerous crosswalk more than just an issue with the city.

This pervasive sense of guilt that we harbor during situations like this is what I walked away from this tragedy with.

I believe after reviewing this and the other lessons that we must also be more cautious when it comes to walking the streets and avenues during inclement weather, with a flashlight and reflective gear.

Kelley L. Murray,

Brattleboro, Dec. 8

Pedestrian safety:
A call for action

Editor of the Reformer:

On Dec. 6, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car in Brattleboro. He was the fourth pedestrian to be killed by a car in Brattleboro in the past two years. The Brattleboro Selectboard, Governor Shumlin and the state legislature must take action before anyone else dies. There are scientifically proven steps that reduce the number of pedestrians and bicycle riders who are hurt or killed by cars. More information can be found on the Cambridge, Mass., town website.

On Saturday, Dec, 14, at 1 p.m. at Wells Fountain (near the Brattleboro library) there will be a rally to call on the town and state government to act. Please bring a sign. For information, e-mail me at ewilliams@ValleyPost.org or call me at 802-254-2531.

Eesha Williams,

Dummerston, Dec. 9

Kudos to Reformer

Editor of the Reformer:

I want to thank you for the wonderful pictures of the Christmas Market in Nuremberg (Nov. 30). I went there every year I lived there from 1926 to 1955. It was a pleasure to see that. And a surprise! Thanks again.

Hanne Steinmeyer,

Vernon, Dec. 5