Days When All The News is Bad

An auto accident described as serious this afternoon outside Fairfax, Virginia has sent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife and child to the hospital.
In other bad news, Merlin Olson has passed away.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Landra G. Reid, 69, and Lana Reid-Barringer, 48, of McLean, were driving northbound on I-95 at about 1:10 p.m. in a 2005 Honda Odyssey van in stop-and-go traffic when Reid-Barringer began to stop for traffic ahead of her. A tractor-trailer loaded with rolls of plastic behind her did not stop and pushed the van into another car.

The tractor-trailer driver, according to MSNBC’s 7:30 p.m. newsbreak, faces charges of reckless driving.

“Mrs. Reid has a broken nose, broken back and broken neck. Lana has a neck injury and facial lacerations. Both Mrs. Reid and Lana are conscious, can feel their extremities, and according to doctors their injuries are non-life threatening,” Jon Summers, a spokesman for Sen. Reid (D-Nev.), said in a statement late Thursday afternoon.
“Senator Reid has been to the hospital and appreciates the support he and his family are receiving from Nevadans and his colleagues in the Senate,” Summers said.
Landra Reid has been admitted to the hospital in serious condition, while Reid-Barringer will be released Thursday night, Reid’s office said in a later statement.
Reid went to the Capitol to preside over a health-care meeting and will return to the hospital when it concludes, aides said.

The driver of the semi wasn’t injured, but drivers in a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries as a result of the accident.

Best wishes to the Reid family in this tough time.

The rest of the bad news so far today? Merlin Olson has died. He was 69.
Best known, perhaps, for his roles as a gentle giant in television series including “Little House on the Prairie” and “Father Murphy,” Olson was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A Mormon, he had earned varsity letters three times at Utah State University and was the first Aggie to be drafted in the first round by the NFL. His first contract in 1962 was for $50,000 for two years. He was an All-American in college who played in the NFL for 15 seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl first team in 1964, then again every year from ’66 to ’70. He was named to the second team in ’65, ’73, and ’74.

He had endured three cycles of chemotherapy in a fight against mesothelioma.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Merlin Olson. Rest in peace, gentle giant.

And Merlin Olson has passed away at 69.


5 responses to “Days When All The News is Bad

  1. grahamfirchlis

    Update, Reid’s daughter was released with only minor injuries, and Landra Reid has been upgraded to “good” condition following surgery to stabilize her cervical fracture. Mrs. Reid is now expected to make a full recovery, with no risk of paralysis.

    For having been hit by a tractor-trailer rig, this is a close to Good News as it gets. What I’m wondering is how her neck was broken, from the impact or the air bag? I know they are supposed to save lives, but I’ve survived a couple of major wrecks unharmed and the notion of that thing exploding in my face while I’m already occupied with survival is, well…more disconcerting than reassuring.

    Fear of the unknown, I suppose, but a friend of mine, a surgeon, was t-boned by an SUV that ran a red light, hit the passenger side and pushed him into another oncoming car in his opposite lane. When it was all done he was pinned in tight and the steering wheel air bag had deployed, but he could move everything and felt no significant pain. Then the driver-side door airbag went off, belatedly, and dislocated his left shoulder. A busy orthopod, he figured that airbag cost him about $200,000 in billings for surgeries he had to give away while the arm healed.

  2. The Other Sarah

    There is one airbag in my truck — the one in the steering wheel.

    My truck is so old I don’t have the warning not to let kids ride in my front seat on the visors.

    The insurance companies, by the way, were big on airbags back in the ’70s. I don’t know if they would still be big on such things (here in TX if the airbag goes off the vehicle’s totaled) had that innovation not yet become standard.

    If that airbag goes off, it’ll likely blind me — I can’t afford safety glasses anymore.

  3. grahamfirchlis

    Nah, probably won’t bust your glasses, not enough focused PSI for that, but it will take the hide right off your forehead.

    Really, I hate all this “safety” stuff. The future though is more Toyota Becomes HAL, where the damn car has a nervous breakdown and kills its driver.

  4. grahamfirchlis

    Nah, probably won’t bust your glasses, not enough focused PSI for that, but it will take the hide right off your forehead.

    Really, I hate all this “safety” stuff. The future though is more of Toyota Becomes HAL, where the damn hyperelectonicallysophisticated car has a nervous breakdown and kills its driver.

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