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Monday, June 25, 2007

Driving While Insane -- Vehicular Troubles in the News

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2007 at 9:39 AM

Parking the train in the tunnel is, apparently, something 4 percent of us have never done.

Parking the car in the tunnel turns out to be a lot less fun, especially if you're a late-night Muni patron.

The revelation that the man who inexplicably drove his car into the Muni tube by Duboce Park was not drunk or high is both refreshing and beguiling.

"Yeah, I know, I'm an idiot," the Examiner reported the man telling police. "I thought it was the Geary Underpass."

(We'd give you a link to the Examiner article but it's not on their Website -- which was still reporting Giants scores from the Milwaukee series deep into the weekend. Monarch of the Dailies, how the mighty have fallen!).

After piloting his Prius deep into the Geary Under… sorry, the tunnel, the man realized his error, attempted a U-turn and wedged the car neatly in place. An N-train had to tow out the vehicle, which tied up traffic for about 50 minutes in the wee hours of June 17. Muni officials recently announced they are mulling over whether to stick Mr. Geary Underpass with the cost of towing his car and fine him for disabling Muni service (for an outsider to induce Muni lateness might even be a union violation).

The tunnel trouble was far from the only vehicular incident to crop up on the blotter. In Concord on Saturday, a suspected drunk driver plowed into the back of a stopped California Highway Patrol cruiser, which in turn smacked into a Park Policeman's car. If ever there was a way to get oneself arrested for driving under the influence, this has to be it: Trigger a series of unfortunate events that lacked only the requisite Benny Hill music.

Finally, in more somber news, the San Mateo County D.A. recently announced it will file vehicular manslaughter charges against U.C. Berkeley journalism graduate student Kevin Jones, who was driving David Halberstam when the 73-year-old journalist was killed in an April crash.

One has to wonder, is this really necessary? Isn't the fact every potential editor will always view Jones as The Guy Who Killed David Halberstam punishment enough? Isn't inadvertently killing your mentor punishment enough? You have to feel a bit for Kevin Jones.

This would be harder for him, of course, if his name were Kevin Mönchengladbach. --Joe Eskenazi

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Matt Stroud


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