a runner’s life is worth approx $500

This is the title of a thread on the runner’s world forum.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Associated Press

FREDERICK, Md. — A driver who fatally struck a jogger from Zelienople who was running in the road near Emmitsburg has been fined $500 under a plea agreement.

Twenty-nine-year-old Joshua Cool pleaded guilty Monday in Frederick to failing to exercise care to avoid a pedestrian. In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of negligent driving and other offenses.

Mr. Cool was charged in the death last April of 22-year-old Elizabeth DiNunzio. She was a Spanish major at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg.

Defense attorney Kate English says her client was devastated by the accident.

Mr. Cool’s parents were fined $200 each earlier this month for letting their son drive the uninsured pickup truck that hit DiNunzio.

I don’t know the circumstances of this case. On the thread there are opposing thoughts — that the punishment was not severe enough vs it was an accident. There’s some information that suggest to me that the driver did indeed get away with it. Although he wasn’t drunk or anything like that, he was driving a truck that he wasn’t covered in the insurance. In fact, he was specifically excluded in the policy. It also matters to me whether he showed remorse, and what, if anything, he will do to show he has learned his lesson. From some of the comments, it seems that he hasn’t. So, yes, I’m going to condemn this person and wish that he suffers from the thought of having killed an innocent 22-year old all his life.

In memory of Ms DiNunzio, there’s going to be a 5k run /1 mile walk at Zelienople PA on 24 April. If it didn’t take 8 hours to drive there, I’d go there in a minute. I started my running career on the road. Now I run by the lake, but I have to run on the street and across a couple of main roads to get there. Traffic is thick. Cars come out of alleys and make turns with very little regard for pedestrians. I’m ramping up this year, this is important to me.