LETTER: Don’t drive impaired, don’t tolerate it from anyone else
I love coming home to the Roaring Fork Valley. Our community stands strong with each other, embracing the “it takes a village” mentality and working to make the valley a great place to live. This Christmas, though, my confidence in the safe practices of our village was shaken.
While driving down Traver Trail in Glenwood after Christmas dinner, an oncoming SUV passed my car and slammed into my brother’s truck behind me. In my rear view mirror, I watched his truck lurch sideways while the SUV drove over the cliff-side of the road. My brother’s truck scraped to a stop behind us; he assured us he was OK, although his truck appeared totaled. We ran to the edge of the road to find the SUV and help any victims.
We discovered the driver was a longtime local. They appeared physically unharmed, but I was shocked at their demeanor and watched as they were ticketed with a DUI, resisting arrest and careless driving. I am deeply shaken by the many near-misses that could have produced unfathomable consequences, and can’t imagine the result if the driver had hit my car just a few seconds before instead of my brother’s sturdy truck.
Court records indicate the driver was previously found guilty of a DWAI. Was ours an accident that could have been avoided? Who didn’t take the driver’s keys that night? If we turn a blind eye to people with a history of driving while impaired, do we have the courage to stop those who indulge too much during the holidays? Ultimately, drivers are responsible for their choices, but as a community we are collectively responsible for the safety of our town. The residents of this valley deserve the confidence of knowing we are looking out for each other not just reactively, but proactively.
I am grateful to all who came to help, and hope this letter reminds us all to enjoy the holidays responsibly. Protect our community and speak up if you are concerned about someone’s ability to drive safely; do not drive impaired nor tolerate it from anyone else, no excuses.
Hayley Harris Picchini
Glenwood Springs native
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