Tag Archives: Cindy and David Combs


… but hey, 32 is still a LOT of degrees.  Yesterday I tossed the rain pants and jacket because I knew the temp would be dropping even if it really wasn’t likely to rain (especially on ME :)), and it did… and I*hadn’t* brought gloves or socks, and I was wearing sandals on the grounds that nekkid feet dry faster.

Glad to say that the extra layers did their job and my hands were a little chilly at the start, but not for long. Took almost as long to get into work this morning – there’s something about a serious headwind that activates an attack gear, and today’s winds were enough to slow me down but not enough to activate that gear — or, I need to check the bike. Today I *did* use the extra seconds at Prospect and Church to charge through after the countdown hit zero.

Last night, I was advised to “watch those country roads!” — because of what happened to Cindy and David. THen the person asked if I knew whether it had been a case of coming over a hill blindly… um, no.   It was a case of a wide open road and not paying attention and killing somebody dead because it wasn’t worth the time to keep eyes on the road. Looking out at the empty bike rack on Mondays where that tandem SHOULD BE creates … a disruption in the Force or something.

Websites that are almost worse than not having a website at all — especially if you’re gonig to manage to send me an email to encourage me to look at yoru products — http://www.propatchinc.com/ … the original link was to a cell phone holder for my handlebar, which I *would* be interested in, but if you do as half-a33ed a job on your products as done with the website, then I’m not interested.   It seems to be a website set up from a template… including “chat with us!  Except we’re not available!”

Riding the egg… and funeral/cycling attire.

… Oy.   I *must* figure out how to get those Schwinn S6 (or is it S7?) tyres to sit roundly on the rim.   I rode the Racer out to work after the funeral ’cause it will get me back faster to meet about the “what are we going to do about this?” meeting.

I decided that whilst the Racer was a somber black, the retroreflective lips might just not be appropriate for parking in front of a funeral home.   I decided the Gazelle had made sense for Fritz’ funeral, since he was my path to get that bike, but that good ol’ Xtra was the best for this.   I had trouble finding clothes… and I just wasn’t brave enough to wear my heels but I think I am going to wear them around more so that that’s an option. (Right now, me walkin’ in them is still comic.)

Black tights under black sweats under my mostly black skirt worked very well.   Yes, I could have just done the dress if I were ridign the Gazelle — but it is NOT that warm outside. We were singing from rows of chairs (they had to do multiple rooms with closed circuit TV … open casket, but only her face really showing). Many Tuesday Pedaling for Pleasure regulars there.

I got to find that critical B as a second soprano and then go back and belt out a great alto Gospel thing Cindy loved.

But… I’m afraid that yes, between the inspirational words from the pastor, and the thorough explanation of the politics of the Thessalonians, it was all a tragic accident and Cindy knew the risks and had prepared herself for them… by being prepared for death.  Not word one about the responsibility humans have for *not* taking specific actions that endanger others — to think FIRST.

I hear that actually, a lawyer has had success in a case in Illinois with our new 3-foot law that should be useful here… but… so far, I don’t know if Julia Rietz has done that homework.   I would *love* to find out that she is doing the right things behind the scenes.   However, so far the doubt I’ve been trying to give her the benefit of has been shrinking, shrinking.


… for those of you who knew her… or know somebody who did and want to forward…

I got an email from our Parkland Chorus director this morning.  Parkland Pops is the other group Cindy sang with; it is folks from DSC.  She says:

FYI – I talked with Developmental Services this morning (Thursday).  Cindy’s memorial service arrangements are still pending.

There is a Parkland POPS concert in the Parkland Theatre at 1:00 on Sunday, March 13.  They will sing 6 pieces.  Then (around 1:30) Brian Hagy (Director of POPS) will invite singers to the stage to join in singing “Amazing Grace”.    After the concert and tribute, there will be cookies and juice in C-Wing.  This will provide a time and place for people to talk with each other and share memories of Cindy.

3-foot-law: useless if you’re dead

Okay, you might get somewhere with drivers who verbally harass you as well as physically try to shove you off the road — IF you have them on film, and have an ironclad case… and of course don’t count on getting too far.

If you’re dead, though, forget it.   That’s not “reckless.”   That’s not ‘willful and wanton.”   And that is what our state’s attorney, Julia Rietz, has said about applying the 3-foot law to the killing of Cindy Combs and critical injury of her husband David.

I looked up “reckless.”  What is cited as an example is: drives over an incline in the road, such as a railroad crossing, with the intent of making the vehicle airborne.

So.   Drive fast over RR tracks:  reckless.

if a driver had decided to see how long s/he could drive with eyes closed, would that be considered reckless?

Drive at excessive speed with your eyes closed, essentially:    Driving too fast to avoid an accident. (Not to avoid KILLING PEOPLE. Just to avoid an accident.)  NOT reckless.

The person seeking airborne-ness was *not* seeking to endanger others. S/he was simply placing the desires of the moment before the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle in a way that one would expect to be dangerous.

Be it granted that in the past, Mr. Maul would not be considered acting in willful and wanton way, because looking at a map was not something one would expect to be dangerous — and it’s just not as likely to be something done by a teenage male, and people don’t mind when we convict them.

However, laws change as we gain more knowledge. We — the general public — have been made aware that distracted driving is very dangerous. That impulse to drive very quickly and that impulse to look at the map were the impulses of the moment, and they were held to be more important than the lives of everybody else on the road. I’m sorry, but reading a map or whatever Mr. Maul was doing was a whole lot more dangerous than going over railroad tracks at high speed. I’ll bet you anything that driver would be looking at the road.

(From Ed Barsotti, having talked with Julia Rietz)

she explained that there was a big gap in Illinois law between minor driving offenses (e.g., improper lane usage in the Wilhelm case, maybe the new 3’ law in this new case) and reckless homicide.  Reckless homicide requires the prosecution to prove “willful and wanton” behavior, i.e., intentionally and consciously trying to do harm to the victim.  Previous case law had convinced her that she would have been unsuccessful in trying to prove this, so she felt stuck with the minor traffic offense as her only feasible option.  Afterwards, she (and others) actively advocated new Illinois law for negligent homicide, which would fill that gap, but she did not get support from her peers (the other counties’ states attorneys) or the legislature.

Julia called me soon after I sent my email, correcting my mistake about the new law above.  It, too, requires the reckless (”willful-and-wanton” standard), so it does NOT provide another prosecution tool to fill the gap.   Especially during this early stage of the investigation, she’s not able to discuss specifics on the Combs-Maul case, but it seems like she’s facing the same gap in the law that existed during the Wilhelm case.

So. I looked up what “reckless driving” is.