Letter: The cause of Shawn Bradley’s injuries shouldn’t be called a “bicycle accident”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Shawn Bradley leaves the Delta Center after defeating the Jazz in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in 2001.

I, like many other NBA fans, am horrified to hear of this month’s tragedy regarding NBA and BYU star Shawn Bradley in St. George. It devastates me more knowing that he was struck down on the road while enjoying life’s simplest pleasure: Riding his bicycle. I am upset about the coverage of this terrible event.

Most outlets covering Bradley’s experience termed the event a “bicycle accident” in headlines. However, a bicycle accident occurs when a child tips their bike in the driveway. By all sensible accounts, Bradley was run down from behind by a car. We are steeped in culture that privileges drivers beyond other road users whether on two wheels or two legs. We diffuse culpability for drivers with poorly worded headlines and deaths each year from vehicle collisions continue to rise rapidly.

Bradley’s GPS was investigated and no wrongdoing was noted on his part. The driver that struck Shawn Bradley left the scene of the collision. Police have not filed any citations against the driver.

The written culture surrounding motor vehicle incidents on the road must change before we see justice done to the mortality of car collisions. We won’t see perception focus on human beings until we remove car-dominated headlines from our collective journalistic vocabularies. Our loved ones on two wheels and on two-legs will thank us when we do.

Mitchell DiPanni, New Canaan, Conn.

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