by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Everybody was having a good time Wednesday at the Tucumcari Air Show – until about 1:20 p.m. in the afternoon. That’s when Guy “Doc” Baldwin’s plane completed its loop, crashing to the ground.
It was an accident with an audience. And the end of the air show.
Plane crashes happen. Sometimes with a lot bigger loss of life. And sometimes with somebody that everybody knew. Everyone knows John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette died in a plane crash.
And so did aviator Amelia Earhart, singer John Denver, rock ‘ n roll singers Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, golfer Payne Stewart, and many, many more.
But on the same day that Guy “Doc” Baldwin’s plane crashed, the Quay County Sun published a story that began: “Two people died and two others were seriously injured Sunday morning in a two-vehicle accident near the Curry/Roosevelt county line.”
Another accident – but with no audience.
What’s the connection?
A larger number of people die in automobile accidents than in plane crashes each year.
People often pay more attention to airplane crashes because they do involve a large number of people, or a large number of people witness the accident or because a celebrity died in the crash, a National Transporation Safety Board inspector said.
There were about 43,200 people who died in car crashes last year. no crowd watching them.
And, 43,200 people: That’s more than four times the number of people who live in Quay County.
Perhaps, those people who were present at the public death of Doc Baldwin will pay a little bit more attention when they drive.
Recent research says that nearly 80 precent of vehicle crashes and near-crashes involve driver inattention. Cell phones. Drowsiness. Just not paying attention.
Want to avoid a crash?
Keep your eyes on the road; and, if you have been drinking, find a designated driver.
Chelle Delaney is associate publisher for the Quay County Sun. Contact her at 461-1952 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org