SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Let's be safe on our roads.
By Kathleen Wendt


January 06, 2009

Winter is here and along with it comes poor driving conditions. It is the time for extra care and driving responsibly with patience and consideration.

On Friday, December 12th, the roads were dry, visibility was excellent and it was a beautiful day in Ketchikan. It was between 1:30-2:00pm and I was making a quick trip to town driving south. At about 6 mile North Tongass, I met a large commercial truck driving north when a car decided to pass the truck and was heading right for me. My first inclination was to pull off the road, but there were several vehicles close behind me. This driver made a bad choice and just kept coming without any possibility of clearing the truck. I stayed calm, pumping my breaks and expected a horrible and huge accident involving several vehicles. As I came to a stop the light colored car flew by on the shoulder of the road. This was the shoulder on my right and on the water side. I have gone over this many times and find it incredible that no impact occurred.

I want to thank the drivers of the vehicles behind me and compliment them on how attentive they were that day. The situation could have easily resulted in a huge pile up and had devastating results. It is also amazing that the irresponsible driver of the car did not lose control or at the least clip the guard rail or one of the other vehicles. I thought of calling the Troopers, but I had no information to give them except a very poor description of the car. Everything happened so fast, the details did not register.

I am angry at that driver. Think of what the outcome could have been! To be so selfish and careless and not have any regard for other's safety or your own is beyond my comprehension. I hope if anyone knows who was responsible for this, they will at the least, have the person read this letter. There is no excuse for driving in that manner. You just have to notice the crosses and wreaths along the side of the road, to know rude, erratic driving kills and affects the entire community.

As the condition of the roads deteriorates this winter, we all have to drive with caution and on the defensive. Let's be considerate and patient with everyone on the road. What's the rush? We don't have far to go no matter where we are heading, and the few seconds you may make up is not worth an accident. A fender bender ruins everyone's day who is involved and a major accident can take people's lives.

Please drive safely and have a wonderful holiday season. I am sure I had extra protection on December 12th, and believe in guardian angels! I called to God as I was hitting my brakes, and he saved me. It is the only explanation.

May all of you have an angel with you each and every day this coming New Year.


Kathleen Wendt
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Driver of a Red Nissan Truck ; Resident of Ketchikan and Biologist for the past 20 years."

Received December 23, 2008 - Published January 06, 2009


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Ketchikan, Alaska