OUR VIEWS: Lucky driver among many

Jul 23, 2012

On the morning of July 12, she unintentionally set into motion a series of death-defying maneuvers that rivaled some of Evel Knievel’s stunts.

Elliott’s lucky that nobody was in the front-end loader she backed into so hard that it pushed the heavy equipment back some 3 feet. Lucky that no people or their automobiles were situated in the path of her RAV4 as it made its involuntary beeline toward the docks. Lucky that nobody was aboard the boat on which her car landed. Lucky that her car didn’t collide with the trees en route or plummet off the side of the Sea Ray and into the Grand River.

Ultimately, she’s lucky to be alive.

We were disturbed to discover this was not the first time Elliott has been on a dizziness-induced drive that found her in or near the Grand River.

Based on the comments section of the Tribune’s website, we’re not the only people asking questions. Many wonder if Elliott should ever be allowed to get behind the wheel again, and if the state of Michigan has a thorough vetting process to ensure she does not drive until it is determined she won’t pose a risk to herself or others.

In Michigan, when it has been determined that someone will face a driving re-examination (which Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung said is likely in Elliott’s case), the state will send a medical statement to be filled out by the individual’s physician. At the time of the assessment, it could be determined that certain licensing controls be put in place, or that additional examinations or a suspension/revocation of license is necessary. It’s a “case-by-case” approach that seems quite reasonable.

Ultimately, we’re fortunate that Elliott was put forth as a candidate for re-examination, as many people prone to losing consciousness opt to not reveal this information to the Secretary of State, for fear of potentially losing their license.

As Michigan is one of 44 states where doctors are not required to report patients with epilepsy or other conditions that could impair driving, it is all the more important that individuals (or their family and friends) have the courage to come forward and seek help.

It’s better to end up riding the bus than riding in a hearse.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier, Nick White and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

Comments

hgfase

I am hoping for the safety of both this individual and the public, a thourough medical examination is performed, hopefully with the full support of this individual.

I was taught from an early age of taking full responsibility for myself, and later when instruction for driving, this same virtue was instilled in me to take responsibility for my actions and for the safety of others.

In 2005 my vison for medical reasons was severely failing, after a few close calls that could be attributed to just normal driving occurancse happened, I realized when those close calls happened I could not see them, it was good I had quick reflexes and by the grace of God I did not hurt anyone. It was at this time "I" initiated a apponitment to my Opthalmologist, and after examination we both agreed I should no longer drive. I was 45 years old.....

Losing my driving license was devastating & a life alterating event, it still is today, but I took the initiative to guarrantee the safety of other drivers and pedestrians alike, and tho it was a hard decision to swallow, I never hurt or killed anyone.

Today we do have alternate transportation choices, I am a huge advocate of Harbor Transit here in Grand Haven who runs a wonderful service staffed by caring people, escpecially the drivers & dispatchers.... We also have cab service.

I sincerely hope anyone reading this comment will take to heart if they are in the same situation or has a loved one, to please take the same path as I did, hurting or killing an innocent person, would be a far worse thing than injury to ones own self....

MeanSmith

I agree with you. Thank you for what you did in getting a medical evaluation.

Kelly LaMore

My, my, my! Slow news day? It sounds as if the Grand Haven Tribune staff didn't get a story to report. Over the many years that I have lived in Grand Haven, I have gotten a few giggles over the many non-stories that have been covered. You have done very well with the big news events, but when it comes to the slow news days, you guys stretch it like silly putty! As I didn't see anything else printed regarding Cari Draft Elliot's accident, I am assuming that you didn't get any information from her. I am sure she is handling the aftereffects of her accident without consulting the media. I have every confidence that the police, the doctors, and the people involved are getting the information that they need. Too bad, that her local newspaper feels the need to "stir the pot" and rake her over the coals before you have ANY facts! I may have to broaden my horizons with a paper from a bigger city. At least they won't be rooting through yesterdays news to try to find some sludge to sling! Bad press at it's best! For Shame!

Athena

Wow. Will you not consider it news unless she crashes into a bus full of kids on a field trip? Then it's shame on you. And frankly, if she did not contact the media or alert the press it would be a first.

Zeke

Gutter journalism once again.


This doesn't even qualify as gutter journalism actually. Maybe you all should just start a gossip column and put this trash where it belongs.

Once again, please do away with the "Our Views" section. It is painstakingly obvious that it is intended to create controversy, receive lots of comments, and is nothing but an embarrassment for this "newspaper", and to our community.

I'm not trying to be unnecessarily harsh, but I sincerely believe you all are better than this. I'm confident your intentions are good, but that doesn't change how poorly this continues to come across.

Athena

Are you serious? Please stop. This is a public safety issue. You are the public. So are the people you love. Outandabout says Mrs. Eliiott will not run over meansmith's grandchildren --- but she may run down yours. Not trying to be harsh, just making sure you understand the gravity of this problem. Again, if you people care, stop being enablers of the situation.

Karingh

OUR VIEWS are a JOKE!!!!!! Get a life!!!!!! go work for The National Enquirer.....cause thats where your VIEWS belong!

Athena

Sure. And incidentally, will Mrs. Elliott be driving your grandkids to school anytime soon? I didn't think so.

MeanSmith

I totally agree with the Trib's views on this issue. Kudo's to the Trib on this one!!

michiglen

"OUR VIEWS" is just a way to create controversy or drag out similar issues that have already been beaten to death. It is not journalism.

outandabout

Maybe you should talk to Ms. Elliot and ask if she wants to speak to this. Apparently "MeanSmith" and a FEW others (not an overwhelming amount people, because most people want to hear both sides). I understand your worries. But honestly, think about this. We have no idea of the circumstances involved, not a clue, at least I don't. So I am not going to judge/jury. For some reason, some people seem to get in more accidents and really no logic to it, even though in hindsight we think we have figured it out. Good luck with the article because it was really really a bit of witch hunt. She will be fine and she will not run over MeanSmith's grandchildren next time she drives. :)

MeanSmith

Woaaa, someone took this article too close to the heart for some reason (personal issues with the driver possibly??). This is obviously a medical issue. Please calm down.

Athena

Why are people here so defensive about this? I don't understand why you're attacking the writer of this article and the people who question her decision to keep driving. I get that some of you are personally connected and are embarrassed for her. But let's try to act like grownups and keep the focus where it belongs.

To outandabout, no need to ask if Mrs. Elliott wants to speak to this; see how she feels about her other blackout-dizzy-spell-car-accident here: http://fitgirlcari.blogspot.com/... Kind of makes her blackout and plunge into the river sound superfun and cute...she actually refers to it as an "adventure". Also, I have to question what you mean by saying you have "no idea of the circumstances involved" in her latest blackout. Wake up please...SHE BLACKED OUT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR...TWICE. (that we know of) Those ARE the only "circumstances" anyone needs to know about a situation such as this.Whether she's driving or anyone else. And please, don't make this about judging or a "witch hunt" --- this is about the reasonable expectation that other mature, rational adults will use good judgement & common sense where the lives and safety of other people are involved. Period.

I do want to add that I find it surprising that someone involved in the Health and Wellness field of all things would put the health and safety of others in jeopardy this way. If anything, BECAUSE of her vocation she should be more forthcoming about this serious health issue, not hiding or pretending it didn't happen until it goes away. If you really care for this person it's time quit ignoring the elephant in the room. Whether it's Mrs.Elliott or anyone else, the bottom line here is safety first.

MeanSmith

Wow, I cant believe she calls it an 'adventure'. Unreal. I pray that she doesn't hurt anyone with her recklessness. Thank you.

Athena

you're welcome : )

Athena

Why are people here so defensive about this? I don't understand why you're attacking the writer of this article and the people who question her decision to keep driving. I get that some of you are personally connected and are embarrassed for her. But let's act like grownups and keep the focus where it belongs.

To outandabout, no need to ask if Mrs. Elliott wants to speak to this; see how she feels about her other blackout-dizzy-spell-car-accident here: http://fitgirlcari.blogspot.com/... Kind of makes her blackout and plunge into the river sound superfun and cute...she actually refers to it as an "adventure". Also, I have to question what you mean by saying you have "no idea of the circumstances involved" in her latest blackout. Wake up please...SHE BLACKED OUT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR...TWICE. (that we know of) Those ARE the only "circumstances" anyone needs to know about a situation such as this.Whether she's driving or anyone else. And please, don't make this about judging or a "witch hunt" --- this is about the reasonable expectation that other mature, rational adults will use good judgement & common sense where the lives and safety of other people are involved. Period.

I do want to add that I find it surprising that someone involved in the Health and Wellness field of all things would put the health and safety of others in jeopardy this way. If anything, BECAUSE of her vocation she should be more forthcoming about this serious health issue, not hiding or pretending it didn't happen until it goes away.
If you really care for this person it's time to quit ignoring the elephant in the room. Whether it's Mrs. Elliot or anyone else, the bottom line here is safety first.

michiglen

At the risk of prolonging the saga....

From the conclusion of the blog after the previous incident "http://fitgirlcari.blogspot.com/..." -

"So - the blackout - turns out that my iron was severely low, and that combined with a couple other temporary elements caused this one-time blackout ::: whew ::: Very curable and treatable, for the next few weeks I'll be receiving IVs to get my iron-count back up to where it should be, and all will be well in CariLand again! "

Low iron level = Anemia.

"Your body cannot make iron, so you must obtain it from food sources. People who follow a strict vegetarian diet may be at risk of developing anemia because they do not consume enough iron-rich foods. Foods with high levels of iron include lean red meat, seafood, liver, dark meat of poultry, eggs, beans and dried fruit. Fortified cereals and whole grains are other excellent sources. You can also receive iron form green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. The iron from plant foods is not absorbed as well as iron from animal products. To boost your body's absorption of the mineral, consume iron-rich foods with a serving of foods high in vitamin C."

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/articl...

Skinny and fit is not always healthy..... just sayin'

Athena

I agree...and great info : )

freddy99

There is definitely a lot luck drivers out there. It seems like everybody has almost had that bad accident. You really have to be a defensive driver out there. Plumbing tips and advice

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.