Colorado Springs police tape

Caught up in the morass of stories about COVID-19, the BLM protests and the 2020 election is a story about the senseless loss of life. A woman killed two people in a car crash, as she evaded arrest, and was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison.

Deanna Mae Bixby, 21, pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to two counts of vehicular homicide DUI in the deaths of Ryan Scott Carter and Jayne Frances Davicsin. Carter was 27 and Davicsin was 25 when Bixby killed them while speeding on U.S. 85 near Mineral and running a red light. Bixby was reportedly going about 100 mph, under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

There is no rational reason something like this should happen. Two young people’s lives ended, and their families face a lifetime of unimaginable grief.

As we begin the Fourth of July weekend, it is important to remember that lives can be lost in seconds when drivers are impaired or simply careless and distracted. There is no recovery from the effects of a fatal traffic crash.

Open lanes and stay-at-home orders should have meant fewer crashes this spring. However, the National Safety Council reports a drastic 14% year-over-year jump in fatality rates per miles driven in March. According to the Colorado State Patrol, impairment-related deaths in the first part of 2020 were double what they were for the same period in 2019.

This does not bode well for the Independence Day weekend, one of the deadliest holidays of the year. Lorraine Martin, National Safety Council president and CEO, called the increase in motor vehicle fatalities an “apparent open season on reckless driving.”

Drivers must be especially vigilant this weekend. Designate sober drivers if celebrating, or arrange alternative transportation. Drive defensively and observe all traffic laws.

The Fourth of July is a special time to celebrate our nation’s birth with friends and family. Make it safe.

The Gazette Editorial Board

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