Posted April 25, 2008 4:17 p.m. EDT
The death of Nancy Leidy on a bicycle this week in Raleigh reflects the intersection not just of Leidy's bike and a truck driven by an NC-State student, but the intersection of two issues facing our community.
The first and most important issue is that of drinking and driving. Investigators say the driver of the truck, Brian Reid, was over the legal limit. According to the court records his blood alcohol level was measured at .12. Remember this accident happened roughly around 11:00 in the morning, not a time when most of us would be concerned about drunk driving,
The second issue is how drivers share the road with bicyclists in our growing area where traffic increases daily. This is not a new concern, but I'd venture to say on Nazareth Street where this happened a sober driver could have hit Leidy. The narrow road borders WRAL and serves as a cut-through for drivers from Centennial Parkway to Western Boulevard. We have to come up with better ways for these two groups of travelers to co-exist.
Leidy was well-respected in the community and will no doubt be missed sorely by her family and friends. But the intersection of her life with Brian Reid's life will probably affect Reid more profoundly than anyone. He will have to live with the criminal, but more importantly the emotional consequences for the rest of his life. At twenty-one that's a pretty tall order.
On Wednesday when he was first arrested Reid's father sobbed and leaned on his daughter's shoulder for support as he waited for his son to be released from jail on bond. Clearly, the intersection of Leidy's and Reid's lives has a ripple effect that will touch more lives than any of us can imagine.