Page One

Girl hit by police car learning a hard lesson

Joanne Orengo, Richmond
Tuesday October 01, 2002

To the Editor: 

I read the front page article in the Sept. 24 Daily Planet with concern, as I began to realize that the grandparents of the young girl were attempting to blame the police officer for the accident. 

Please believe me when I say I have no particular ax to grind in favor of the Berkeley police, or any other police department. In fact, I would be inclined to believe the worst of the police, in general, given my own experiences as a pedestrian and bicyclist (as well as occasional motorist) in Berkeley. 

The fact that this 7 year old was out riding her bike, without a helmet, in a city, totally disregarding the most elemental rules of safety (look both ways before you cross a street, use the crosswalks and intersections, cars are fast and may not always see you, etc.) does not speak well for her temporary guardians. The child has paid for her ignorance with an extremely hard lesson. I just hope she does not also learn that when something bad happens to you, blame someone else.  

I was not there, so I cannot say for sure that the officer was driving within the speed limits. But the fact that she is alive is a good indication that he was. In addition to thanking god, perhaps the grandparents might also thank the police officer for his quick reflexes. 


Joanne Orengo