What Some Drivers Think About Cyclists in Tucson

Melissa Arrington was going to jail for drunk driving; she hit cyclist Paul L'Ecuyer after swerving off the road and dragged him 800 yards. That would have got her four years; instead she got 10-1/2 because of a phone conversation between Arrington and an unknown male friend, a week after L'Ecuyer was killed, that the judge found to be "breathtaking in its inhumanity." According to AP,

During the conversation, the man told Arrington that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had "taken out" a "tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot."

Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, "No, it's not."

Assistant Public Defender Michael Rosenbluth told the judge his client has never been "cold, callous or flippant" about L'Ecuyer's death and has always felt remorseful.

Arrington's blood-alcohol content was .156 percent, nearly double Arizona's .08 legal limit. She had been driving on a suspended license for a prior drink-drive conviction. ::MSNBC

All images from Fred Conrad's New York Times photo essay on Ghost Bikes thanks, Mike!

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