When I worked in TV in the Twin Cities, one of the more morbid duties we production assistants had was to prepare "obituary tapes" for celebrities and athletes. If someone famous was sick--or just getting very old--you wanted to have a "highlight reel" of their life ready to go. A story summing up their life was also needed.
Today, I will be writing my own obituary for those left behind here at WOSH to read. Based on recent experiences I know exactly how it will go:
A local radio personality is dead after being run over by several cars while riding his bike. Police say Jonathan Krause--Program and News Director at WOSH radio in Oshkosh--was struck by a car that was pulling out of the Wal-Mart parking lot on South Koeller Street. According to police, Krause was riding home from work when a woman driving a van failed to stop at the sidewalk crossing and collided with the victim's bike. The driver allegedly admitted to never checking the sidewalk for bicyclists or pedestrians--and that she was on the cell phone making sure she had bought all of the items she needed to get at the store.
Police believe Krause--who was wearing his beloved Dale Earnhardt, Senior Safety Helmet--likely survived the initial impact--but died after he was run over by two other vehicles that gunned it into the Wal-Mart parking lot trying to beat the on-coming traffic. Those drivers also admitted they never checked to see if anyone was in the crossing--and that they were on the cell-phone checking to see if anyone at home needed anything from Wal-Mart.
Friends say Krause had just taken to riding his bike to work to save on gas and stay in shape over the summer. His wife called his death "tragic--yet ironic" as Krause himself once hit a man on a bicycle pulling out of a parking lot. That man--who was in the country illegally from Mexico--survived that accident suffering only a minor elbow injury.
Prosecutors expect to file homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle charges against all of the drivers that ran over Krause. They would each face up to ten years in prison. The D-A says he hopes the filing of the charges will send a message to other drivers to hang up their cell phones and pay attention to the road--and to give bicyclists the room and the right of way they are allowed under state law.
Based on the near misses I've had in just three weeks of riding to work--I'm guessing the boys here at the station will be using this story before the end of the summer.