Last night, I received a comment from Barbara Bald that newspaper coverage of the Canyon de Chelly accident was practically non-existent. So, right. And, if you don’t know the story, JUST MAKE IT UP!!!
We talked to a person in the park yesterday who told us a Gallup Paper had the accident as a tour bus that went over the rim and landed upright. Totally bizarre.
And, that another news paper claimed two people were killed and that Dr. Crowe was staying in Sedona before his canyon tour. All of this is heresay, of course. I used to work for a newspaper and I can truthfully say, our paper never made up news.
The little independent newspaper, the Navajo Times contacted Jim yesterday and there will be an article in that paper, but he did not consent to an interview. He told Cindy, the whole story is in the blog. He gave permission for her to use any of the information and pictures in it. The editor, Cindy, was gone during the event and that was why she had not reported on the accident before this week.
Even crazier, there are rumors that the driver was drunk. UNTRUE. That he just drove it over the ledge and jumped out and saved himself. UNTRUE. Again, bizarre. Where does such mean stuff come from? The driver, Davidson, has made about a thousand trips into that canyon over many years; experienced and professional. There is no communication between the canvas cab of the truck and the passengers in the back. He stopped and got out of the truck in order to speak to us when we got to a specific site. He could not warn us of his sudden steering problem, for instance. Besides, it happened in five seconds.
This morning, we got an on-line copy of the phoenixnewstimes that is accurate about the accident. You can read it at this link: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2012/06/canyon_de_chelly_fatal_tour-tr.php
Yesterday, we went to town, did the laundry, shopped for groceries and spent the afternoon reading outside in a cool breeze. I can’t remember when I spent a day and didn’t take a picture. So, I’ll take your advice, Barbara, and post more of the canyon pictures. Bless you, I think I needed a reprieve.
And, also, surprisingly, Jim and I received news from Essya Nabbali, one of the victims in the October 2011 bicycle accident with an update of their case. (My Blog entry Black Monday at
No word about their personal lives pending litigation, just the results of the trial:
Neal Francis Lawson III, born 1950, Coos Bay, was convicted April 26 of two counts of assault by use of a dangerous weapon, and reckless driving. For the first assault, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years’ probation and pay $50,829 restitution plus compensatory fine of $50,000 to Martha McLean. For the second, he was sentenced to 90 days and to pay $78,827.20 restitution plus compensatory fine of $75,000 to Essya Nabbali. His drivers license was suspended five years for both. For reckless driving, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years’ probation. All jail time is to be served concurrently.
And, Oops! I mis-remembered Martha’s last name as Wright instead of McClean when I referred to that piece earlier. I hope to shout I’m not perfect. And this has been a stressful time. I’ll go back and correct it.
BikePortland.org website has a long dialogue about that incident, if you are interested.
Now, some soothing pictures:
This little valley with the green trees looks so inviting.
The canyon is 600 feet deep here and I like to try to get the feeling in the photo that you are looking down into the abyss. I was much more careful when walking out to this edge just because of the accident. It makes no rational sense. Just the body trying to protect itself, I guess.
We found many spots on this rim where catch basins form to hold water. I expect this whole area looks different in the winter. The trail is marked by the cairns.
I took this through a drain hole in the overlook.
These are all from the South Rim that I didn’t publish yesterday. Here is the link to an album from the North Rim if you are interested in a slideshow: