Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Something to think about: They didn’t stop

From page A6 | October 05, 2012 | 13 Comments

On Sept. 10 at around 6 p.m., a driver hit a bicyclist on Newtown Road and left him to die. I live nearby and I didn’t hear the ambulance sirens or the helicopter that night, but I heard about the accident when a neighbor called me at work. She had heard that the victim was Dave and that he’d died of his injuries.

Dave Marsh is part of our Pleasant Valley landscape although most of the residents know very little about him. Almost any day in spring, summer and early fall, you can come upon Dave walking his bike, keeping the roadways clean by picking up trash and recycling it. I’d dubbed Dave “The Pleasant Valley Guardian Angel” in a March column and  several Pleasant Valley residents had responded with their own tales about Dave.

It took several days to pin down the name of the accident victim, and in that time, Pleasant Valley people worried. Rumors flew at the Holiday Market. No one had seen Dave recently, so maybe it was true. Maybe he was dead. People kept calling me, asking about Dave. I began writing a column about him and the horrible thing that had happened. Then we found out that the victim was named Jimi Lee Rohers. He had been badly injured, but he wasn’t dead. Cole Mayer, the Mountain Democrat’s crime beat reporter, wrote an article about the accident for the Sept. 21 paper. I deleted my column about Dave.

But, I found that the anger I’d felt on Dave’s behalf was still with me. It wasn’t about Dave after all — it was about someone being left to die alone on Newtown Road. Someone who was walking his bike and was hit by a driver who left the scene. The person behind the wheel didn’t stop to help Jimi, lying crumpled and unconscious against a wire fence. They didn’t stop to call 9-1-1. They didn’t stop.

It’s possible that the driver didn’t see Jimi walking his bike by the side of the road, even though it was still light outside and a clear evening. The accident occurred on a straight-away on Newtown, not one of the curves, but it’s possible.

But is it possible not to feel the impact of a collision with a 160 pound human being? An impact so violent that one of Jimi’s shoes and and one of his socks flew off his foot as he was thrown 20 feet in front of his bike? An impact that left one of the car’s yellow reflectors and plastic pieces near the victim? I don’t think so. If a deer leaves a dent on a fender, what would the impact of a full-grown human being have on a vehicle?

While I can imagine circumstances that might keep a driver from noticing a bicyclist on the side of the road, I can’t imagine someone colliding with a person and not stopping to see how badly they are injured and calling for help — or maybe I can and I just don’t want to think that there are people in my neighborhood that would do that.

I don’t know Mr. Rohers or have any information about how he is doing or whether the community can help him. I do know that there is at least one other person who knows what happened. Maybe they have family members who wonder that a deer could have caused so much damage to the vehicle. Someone needs to step forward.

Anyone who witnessed the accident on Newtown Road at Starke’s Grade on Sept. 10 or who has knowledge about the accident or information that could lead to the arrest of the driver of the vehicle that hit Jimi Lee Rohrers is asked to contact the California Highway Patrol or the  El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Please help keep Pleasant Valley roads safe for all of us … and Dave.

Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly. 


Discussion | 13 comments

  • Wendy SmithOctober 04, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I had been haunted ever since reading of the bicyclist so badly injured by a hit and run driver on Newtown Rd. last month. I too, worried it might be the gentle, fragile man with the bike I'd seen for years picking up trash along the road, whose name I didn't know. But the original article had mentioned a backpack, and I had never seen him with one, so I fervently hoped it was not he, and meanwhile fretted over whoever the victim actually was. Your wonderful heartfelt article made me cry as at first I believed that it was, indeed, Dave Marsh (now I know his name) and that he had died! ... Until you got to the paragraph dispelling this notion. I, too, wish to know how Jimi is doing, and I certainly hope that the driver turns him/herself in and faces responsibility for this horrific crime.

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  • neighborOctober 04, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    Both Wendys...Thank you for saying what I have been thinking. I heard the sirens and helicopter that night and have been trying to find news ever since. I cried when I read the first article. To be so badly broken and left by the side of the wrong. I drive this stretch of road often and can't help but think of this horrible, callous incident as I go by. Wendy Schultz is correct - that stretch of road is straight and it was daylight so those were not factors. I hope and pray Jimi heals quickly. Even more I hope the driver is caught and made to face what he has done. We NEED to keep this in the public eye until he is caught.

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  • cookie65October 05, 2012 - 4:27 am

    We have a moral deficit in this country. What has accelerated in our society is a "what can I get away with" mentality. Our government leaders have made careers out of it. Gaming the system is overlooked and commonplace. Citizens can hear during this politcal season that they aren't responsible for the consequences of their choices and actions, someone else is. It is sad to say but the unfortunate victim left on the road side badly injured is the result of trickle down leftism.

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  • you are kidding, right?October 05, 2012 - 10:21 am

    Cookie, to twist a tragedy like this into a partisan political attack is nothing short of immoral. It would be equally ridiculous to equate the driver's behavior to an Ayn Rand devotee's (read, Republican) rejection of altruistic behavior. This is a criminal act. It is not political. I know that some people can only view things through their own narrow frame of reference, but please try to see what is actually in front of you. I feel very sorry for you and others like you, both on the left and the right.

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  • cookie65October 05, 2012 - 1:32 pm

    You're kidding, so you are telling me that we don't have a very pervasive "what can I get away with" mentality in this country? Character is what you do when no one is looking. There is nothing that isn't political because politics is how people exist together in a society. It is the rule of law and begins with self government. If you want to feel sorry for someone, feel sorry for yourself for your intellectual dishonesty. This is the result of a learned behavior. A learned behavior that puts conscience and regard for other human beings way down the list. It reminds me of all the inner cities that liberals have destroyed.

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  • srjOctober 05, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    Maybe the county sould not have given Bones Roadhouse a liquor license

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  • Linda JohnsonOctober 05, 2012 - 2:47 pm

    I am with "you're kidding". It takes a particularly insensitive and malicious person to try to conjure up political animosity out of a mysterious criminal act. We do not know who did this, what motivated them or why they ran. It could have been intentional or accidental. They could have been on alcohol, meth, texting, or falling asleep. They could have fled because they are wanted felons or because they are unlicensed drivers, or for a million other lousy reasons. Cookie65 reveals himself to be of low intelligence and zero compassion. Shameful.

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  • cookie65October 06, 2012 - 5:29 am

    Linda, if you prefer only being exposed to what you want to hear then I suggest Oprah or msnbc. Having an honest discussion about how we became a country with such an atrocious regard for others requires honesty. Yesterday some drunk ran down two kids walking to school at 8 am. Should we not examine her "what can I get away with" mentality because you may be sensative to it? Should we not talk about the ruthless violence in our inner cities because it might make us look insensative? So I guess in your world compassion is ones ability to ignore the decay in our society. Good luck with that. Mental migits shouldn't worry to much about the intellegence of others.

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  • Dick FaberOctober 06, 2012 - 7:44 am

    cookie65 is right. Everyone knows that there was no crime in this country prior to FDR's presidency. Then it all went downhill.

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  • Wil SimonOctober 06, 2012 - 7:49 am

    He's right. We were a far better society before the Republicans took over the House.

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  • cookie65October 07, 2012 - 4:09 am

    Wil, see Detroit. Liberal control for 40 years. See California. Enlighten me, which political ideology promotes the notion that such things as responsibility and accountability are divisive, intolerant, uncompassionate, insensative and regressive? The repubs don't run our society, leftists do. Our current economic condition began when the left took over congress. Reality is a stubborn thing.

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  • David WilliamsOctober 07, 2012 - 2:49 pm

    Absolutely. Before FDR's New Deal, there was no crime in the US!

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  • Foaming at the MouthOctober 07, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    Coomie65 - Contact me and I will send you your secret decoder ring!

    Reply | Report abusive comment


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