Thank you for your coverage (3/12/07) of the hit-and-run accident at the intersection of Regent & Park. The man injured in the accident is my cousin, Luke. He is a current MATC student with aspirations of transferring to UW. Luke continues to lie in a coma at a Madison hospital. He has a constant crowd of friends and family waiting for a chance to pass by his bedside and beg him to use his strength and youth to pull through.
Like Luke, I moved to Madison to find myself and begin my future. Madison prides itself on being the sort of place that attracts the best and brightest, people with a social conscience, and those who value the safety and stability that can be provided by a tight-knit community. As a former resident and UW grad, I was appalled to learn that Luke is neither the first nor the second student to be hit by a car this semester, but the third. I fear that Madison is in danger of losing the safety that makes it such a unique and wonderful place to live. I fear that Madison residents will become passive in the face of constant tragedy. I fear that the best and brightest will stop seeking sanctuary here. More than anything, I fear that Luke will not get justice for the pain and damage that some person has caused him.
As an alumna, I urge you to make your community stronger by taking responsibility into your own hands. Write the mayor about pedestrian safety. Call in drunk and reckless drivers. And please, my family and I beg of you, be vigilant in keeping your eyes open and your friends informed about the vehicle we are looking for in this tragedy.
Jill Peerenboom UW alumna Tallahassee, FL