Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 10th, 2009 at 12:10 pm
These inaccuracies — one of which they are making again, even after they changed it when I brought it to their attention in 2007 — are unfortunately stoking the bike/car divide that erupts whenever a case like this gets in the news.
In their story published yesterday, KGW states that: “A second bicyclist, Tim Mastne, unintentionally pedaled into the path of the collision.” Johnny Eschweiler intentionally ran down Ben Ramsdell. After doing so, Escwheiler’s car then continued on, sideswiping a car and a truck and then hitting Mastne.
Tim Mastne most certainly did not pedal into the path of Mr. Eschweiler’s car.
KGW then reports that. “Investigators said Ramsdell kicked Eschweiler’s SUV.” That statement is entirely untrue and its the second time KGW has gotten it wrong. The first time, in August 2007, they corrected it after it was brought to their attention.
Ramsdell did not kick Eschweiler’s car. Police investigators reported that it was Eschweiler (hardly an objective, or as we now know, sane witness) who made this claim, not themselves.
This may seem like I am nitpicking, but these kind of mis-statements by a news outlet have an impact on how people think about what happened.
Is it any wonder that the story elicits a comment like this one?:
“Well, when you kick somebody’s car, they’re gonna run you down. The biker got what they deserved Hahahaha”
I hope KGW will consider issuing a correction to their story.