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Here's a look at the various levels of doublespeak in press articles so far.

Cyclist's identity now published. So sad.

The woman killed yesterday was not a protester or a crazed bike messenger but Constance Holden, a 68-year-old bike commuter headed home from her job as a science writer at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. See http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2010/0413in_memoriam.shtml.

Why have the authorities been reluctant to identify her? Her husband was notified Monday night.

Cyclist identified as 68 year old Constance Holden.

Email from MPD:

Traffic Fatality at 12th Street and New York Avenue, NW

(Washington, DC) – Investigators assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Major Crash Investigations Unit are investigating the circumstances of a vehicular crash that resulted in a fatality. The crash occurred at the intersection of 12th Street and New York Avenue, NW on April 12, 2010.

Shortly after 6:00 pm on Monday, April 12, 2010, the operator of a D.C. National Guard truck assigned on a motorcade security route and a cyclist collided at the intersection of 12th Street and New York Avenue, NW. Police and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department personnel then responded to the scene. Emergency medical personnel could find no life signs.

The bicyclist who has been identified as 68-year-old Constance Holden of Northwest Washington was later officially pronounced dead on the scene by a representative from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia. The body was then transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The operator of the military vehicle was not physically injured. Although he was assigned to a motorcade security route for dignitaries attending the Nuclear Security Summit, he was not actively part of a motorcade at the time of the collision.


Jacob Kishter
Metropolitan Police Dept.
Third District
1620 V St, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Office: 202-671-6600
Cell: 202-528-8612

Very sad. Any news on the jerk in the Jetta who deliberately "Kornheisered"the cyclist last week?

Here's a look at the various levels of doublespeak in press articles so far.

I agree that this is frustrating, but would you prefer that officials make unsubstantiated statements before the investigation is finished? From what I have seen so far, it looks like this may have been bungled by the National Guard, but who knows.

For what it's worth, seems an appropriate time to encourage everyone to participate in the Ride of Silence, May 19th, to try to honor those like Ms. Holden


Here is a response to the greatergreaterwashington post from someone who is not so quick to pass judgment:

"The military is extremely responsible when it comes to incidents like this. If the driver of the truck was to blame, I have no doubt that he/she will suffer the consequences ... which in the case of military personnel tend to be far more severe than for similar situations involving civilians. BUT at this point, we don't know who was at fault. To assume the cyclist was blameless and the driver of the truck to blame, is gravely unjust. Let's let the facts come out and justice work its way rather than giving into 'mob mentality'.

by Lance on Apr 13, 2010 9:32 am"

O2: I don't see any of the commenters here passing judgement on what happened. .

O2, you must not read the comments at GGW very often if you're quoting Lance as the voice of reason.

guez, I took the doublespeak reference to be about the way the press covers it - putting the word collided in quotes for example - not about the statements of the police/military.


If I am not mistaken, the GGW piece *approves* of putting quotes around the word "collided" (which the author is perceived as impersonal). But I have to admit that I am having a hard time keeping up with the standards of political correctness for reporting cycling news.

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