<center>Letters to the Editor</center>

Accident remains under investigation

A recent issue of your paper included at least two letters to the editor regarding the tragic collision that claimed the life of Williams resident Diana Linseth. Diana was killed when her car collided head-on with another vehicle traveling the wrong direction in her lane. To her family and friends, I offer my deepest condolences. The loss of a precious life is difficult to accept under such senseless circumstances.

 Our investigation of the crash is still on-going and awaits the analysis of blood samples from the surviving driver. I hope your readers will understand that arresting and charging an individual for homicide is a serious matter that requires a complete investigation. All the evidence must be gathered and incorporated into the case file prior to our seeking charges against a suspect.  Your readers would demand that we be thorough and have all the facts before charging someone with murder.

 Once our investigation is complete, we will take the case file to the County Attorney, who will review the evidence and decide whether the evidence is sufficient to prosecute the driver. The County Attorney makes that decision only after examining the evidence.  This process takes time and is still underway.

 Under Arizona law, to be guilty of negligent homicide, one must cause the death of another through an act of “criminal negligence.” A manslaughter charge requires one to have “recklessly caused” the death of another. To the lay person, the circumstances surrounding Diana’s death seem to have been reckless and negligent; however, the law requires the defendant to have a culpable mental state. Generally, impaired drivers are deemed to have that mental state. The legal issues are more complex when the driver was not impaired. The pending blood test for the driver that caused Diana’s death will be a key piece of evidence needed by the County Attorney to determine which charges are appropriate under Arizona law.

 The Arizona Department of Public Safety officers, and their families, who live and work in the Williams and Grand Canyon area drive the same highways as do you and your readers.  They are keenly aware of the dangers associated with foreign tourist drivers and their unfamiliarity with Arizona traffic laws. Our officers who live in your area have both a professional and personal interest in enforcing our laws and making our highways safer. Every day, our officers put forth a concerted effort, one violator at a time, to make the highways safer.  Please know that our officers are working hard for you, yours, and theirs to see justice prevail, too.

 Dan L. Wells, Lieutenant

Highway Patrol District Two Commander

Flagstaff

Candy has no place in local parades

I’m writing this letter in response to situations that arose during the Fourth of July parade, a result of participants choosing to ignore simple rules which were changed to affect the safety and well-being of all concerned.

I’m referring to the “no throwing candy” rule, which was implemented in 2002. I was part of the chamber committee that made this change. Research was done and it was discovered that Williams is one of the last non-Native American communities to still allow candy (throwing or otherwise).

We took into account that candy is a long-standing tradition in our community, but that it has become an insurance nightmare and a major safety hazard. We came to a compromise that we felt had taken all facts and feelings into account. We said that you could still have the candy. All we asked is that you not throw it into the crowd, but rather hand it out at the edge closer to the spectators. Is that really so much to ask? Doesn’t the safety of our kids mean anything anymore?

Kids can dart into the path of the next entry. All they see is that little piece of candy. What happens if the operator of that entry were it horse-drawn or auto and doesn’t catch what’s happening in time to avoid an accident? It’s only a matter of time before it does happen. Do we really need to lose a precious life before we open our eyes and see that corrective action is taken?

All we ask is that people respect our authority. We made these changes for the reasons stated above. We’re not out to take away from our community, but to add to it. Times change and so must we.

I ask, are the traditions of the past more important than our kid’s safety today?

Melissa Fizzell

Williams

Mayor thanks city of Williams staff

On behalf of the Williams City Council and myself, I would like to thank each city employee for your planning and work to make the bow hunters’ event a huge success.

In a time where teamwork can be just a catch phrase, the city of Williams employees exhibited the true teamwork spirit, working together to make this event a success. A lot of careful forethought and planning was done prior to the event, and each department was ready to handle whatever number of people attended this event. The teamwork throughout the event itself was extraordinary, with everyone doing whatever was needed without worrying whose job it was or what normal departmental responsibilities were.

The bow hunters are very pleased with the cooperation between the city staff and their group, and want to return again.

It is each and every employee that makes this city work and we thank you for everything you do. Your determination and hard work are very appreciated.

Mayor Ken Edes

Williams

Resident disagrees with proposed grassland project

I strongly disagree with the grassland project proposed by the Forest Service. At the rate our trees are dying from the bark beetles, we certainly don’t need to cut down any more live trees.

Cut down all the dead trees you want. There are millions out there that need to be cut down so they don’t add additional fuel to any fires that would get started. We may, in the end, lose all our trees to this terrible drought and the bark beetles. But until we are out of this situation, we absolutely don’t need to cut down trees to make grassland.

The very trees we would cut down might be the only ones left standing when all is said and done. Until we can see no more dead trees standing, let’s leave the live ones alone.

Laura Boyack

Williams

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