Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by LiveGold, Aug 3, 2012.
My heart breaks for not only his family but his USNA family. Both will be greatly affected by this.
Look at all of those people complaining about being stuck in traffic, exhaustion and missed doctor appointments while one of the nation's best and brightest was killed. RIP Mid-from an army brother.
It is unfortunate that so many midshipmen and young officers are killed or seriously and permanently disabled in vehicular crashes - it is such a waste. When I was in flight training the word was that more student aviators died in car/truck crashes than in aircraft crashes... and that was proven during the 18 months I was in training. Holidays are headaches for most units as the highways can become more dangerous than war zones. My condolences to the family and his shipmates.
To be fair to those who were quoted, they had no idea of who was involved in the accident while they were in the back-up, or even if there were any injuries.
To cast derision on them for their quotes is unfair.
RIP Midshipman Zalik.
I didn't know him personally, but from everything I've heard from people who did, Austin Zalik was a really great guy. That he was chosen by his teammates to be their captain for the upcoming year also says a lot about what his peers thought of him.
It feels like something like this happens every couple of years and every time it's a huge loss for the USNA community...it just plain sucks.
Rest in peace.
People often say that flying is safer than driving. Statistically, that is true. The problem is that pilots fly and drive. They don't drive to work and then sit behind a desk until they have to drive home from work.
death of mid
I can't agree more.
Context is everything.
RGK - are you familiar with I-78?
This was indeed a freak and tragic accident. I saw a photo of the truck and it went down a very steep embankment onto the interstate.
Don't make the mistake of assuming the people out there thought any ill will toward the vicitms - they were simply venting their frustrations at the situation.
I am very familiar with this highway and it's an extremely dangerous road. The shoulders are very narrow or non-existent and the highway is divided by jersey barriers. There is quite literally no where to go and this is the reason the pickup was hit by the semi.
Because it is so dangerous accidents happen quite frequently and backups occur. When that happens secondary accidents happen because people drive at a speed that is far too fast for the highway. Since it is a major highway up to NJ it is frequently traveled by folks from out of state and truckers.
Because of the secondary accident the road was shut down for over three hours in +90 degree heat. When the highway closes no one goes anywhere. One is quite literally trapped. The exits are far between and there is no turning around.
Incidentally this is the same stretch of highway that was shut down during the infamous Valentine's Day blizzard back in 2007. People were stranded when 50 miles of highway was closed for over 24 hours.
The day AFTER this tragedy - there was another fatal accident on this stretch of road, involving another semi and the road was shut down, again.
The really sad thing is that this Mid was about a half hour from home. It's weird that he decided to stop and stop at this particular exit and park his truck toward the highway. I just can't get my head around it. Perhaps he was waiting for daylight rather than stumble into his parent's home in the middle of the night.
I've stopped driving less than an hour from home driving back from Annapolis and slept for several hours because I didn't think I was being safe.
Usually if you think you're at the point where you're unsafe driving tired, you've probably actually been unsafe for a while and it's time to pull over.
Also, I've been annoyed at being at a standstill for an hour plus in the heat before. It happened to me over basket leave on 93 in NH...but all that annoyance went away when I saw the helicopter (presumably) taking someone to the hospital. I certainly wouldn't have complained about it to a reporter with the knowledge that someone got hurt/killed.
Yes, if someone is sleepy they should stop and rest regardless how close they are to home. Since the Mid was about a half hour from home he knew the highway and the route. He had passed an interchange that would have allowed him to rest safely in his vehicle, grab a snack and take a rest. Instead he chose a very rural exit, where there is basically nothing around. Just seems weird. Mostly just sad though.
I didn't read where any inconvenienced motorists were unsympathetic to the victim. Reporters will be very careful to ask the question to get the answer they want. Those people may not even have known there was a fatality unless the reporter told them. Certainly, know one who was sunbathing on the median for three hours knew he was a Navy Midshipman. It does not require a fatal accident to shut down that road. The local news is quick to get reaction from motorists because the highway is so notorious. Penn Dot, State Police and local police have a nasty habit of not detouring traffic or closing entrance ramps when the highway is at a standstill.
That accident on most other interstates would not have required a three hour shut down.
While I applaud you for your patience, you don't know how important that dr appointment was or how difficult it was to get. There have been times when people have had medical issues while being stuck on that road. There were mothers with small children stuck out there in the 90+ degree weather. We all go through life with our daily struggles.
I am truly sorry for your loss.
death of mid
Yes I am very familar with the highway. My DS go to Cedar Crest in Allentown. I agree people were venting. Ever, since the ice storm in 2007, we in state government have had problems with this road. It can be very dangerous at times. And because of this it gets a lot of attention, more so than a lot of other highways. You also stated that you couldn't wrap your head around this. The thing we all must remember is, when it's time, it's your time. I would like to think and try to remember that Midshipmen Zalik is in a far better place now. I hope and trust once the healing begins for those who truly loved him, they will remember this.
Stopping and sleeping is sometimes easier said than done.
I'm reminded of my 1/c summer. I was on a 210' cutter in the Pacific northwest. A number of shipmates were at boarding team member/boarding team officer school in Charleston, SC.
They were scheduled to fly into SeaTac and I was going to pick them up in a GV from Port Angeles, WA.
I got to the airport with maybe an hour to spare. About an hour later I found out the flight was going to be in late. As the night wore on, the delay was later and later. I think they got in... maybe 5-6 hours later. That's a long time.
I had two options, drive north to Seattle and hopefully catch the ferry, and cut and hour or two off my drive or head west, around the water. The decision was made to drive west, as we would have cut it very close for the last ferry.
Everyone I was picking up was on east coast time. They were very tired and all passed out as soon as they sat down in the van.
Was I tired? Absolutely. The road lines in Washington was little balls that make noise if you hit them. I came close/did doze off a few times during the drive, and as I hit those lines I woke up. I tried opening the windows and turning up the music.
I felt the pressure to get people back to the boat. I was a cadet and that's what I had been told to do.
I could have killed everyone in that van, or on the road (although there wasn't much traffic at that hour).
That decision haunts me still. Nothing happened, but something could have. I've never been on the road that tired again.
RGK - agreed. Do you work for PennDOT? If so, my condolences!
Please tell me what attention does this road get? It's very substandard.
LITS - stopping and sleeping is easier said than done. Nice story but not really applicable here. I don't want to beat a dead horse but 5 miles back he had passed a very busy interchange with a Cabela's, Dunkin Donuts, Mc Donalds - both open 24 hours, and many other safe places off the highway.
As a frequent traveler on this highway, surely he knew that. Then again perhaps he thought this parking lot was safe.
No, I work for PEMA in the State EOC. I really love, what I do. In my opinion, the road gets attention, just like any other. We just have to pay more attention, when driving on this road, because of its notoriety of the 2007 storm. I think. We are approaching, not only in Pennsylvania, but across the country, funding and infrastructure problem.
BACK AT YOU,
Death was ruled accidental and the toxicology report indicates a BAC of .09
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