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JONESIE: Do something productive and leave the driver alone

September 22, 2015 - 12:28 PM

It’s hard to find perspective when a child dies.

Whether it’s your own family or a loss that captures public attention, we feel the need to do something, anything, to ensure that some good may come of the tragedy.

But what?

Since five-year-old James McIntosh was killed in a crosswalk on a Penticton street, the shock turned to anger and, as I counsel my children every day, when you get angry the first thing that happens is you stop thinking. And the opportunity for perspective is lost.

Anger and the need to do something turns to blame. In this case perhaps to the driver who hit the boy. Ace Stewart, the driver of the vehicle in this case, was an off-duty member of the RCMP but what does that matter? The only difference is it triggers an independent investigation which brings more news and more attention and more exposure to biases about how you feel about police.

We would all do well to remember in this case — and every other case — that we have a presumption of innocence in this country. Just because police are investigating does not mean a crime occurred. Indeed, a crime has not been proven just because charges are laid.

Since that accident, I have been keenly aware of my own driving habits. Have you? Ever catch yourself rolling through a stop sign? Or a red light to turn right? How many close calls?

I have, and my mind turns to little James McIntosh.

It also turns to the man who hit him. And how quickly, how easily I could find myself in his position. A little boy is dead and people are angry and hurt but with just a few exceptions, no one feels it worse than him.

It was an accident.

He needs community support, not blame, not criticism. Leave Stewart alone, let investigators do their jobs.

And if you want to do something productive, just remember both of them the next time you are driving.

— Marshall Jones is the editor of Infonews.ca

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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