Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

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Intentional Act or Drunken Negligence?

Mystery still shrouds hit and run death of Kellyann Boyce Hurlbert

Patrick Sullivan - July 22nd, 2013  

Police reached over 400 tips in the case of the July 5 hit and run death of Kellyann (Boyce) Hurlbert, but all of that information from the public so far hasn’t helped investigators get any closer to solving the case.

“We’re still basically at the same place we were on the fifth,” Capt. Mike Ayling, who is heading up the investigation, said last Wednesday.

The lack of progress is in stark contrast to the amount of effort investigators have put into the case. Investigators have followed up on every tip.

The FBI and the Michigan State Police recently joined the investigation. The state police can help design a crash reconstruction model that could be used at a trial, if the case reaches that point.

SIGNS OF INTENT

There are reasons to believe the hit and run was an intentional act.

First, there are the other similar crashes, one on June 28, 2012, when a pregnant 31-year-old was run down, breaking her leg, and another on July 5, 2010, when a 39-yearold woman was struck.

All three cases happened late at night, at roughly the same time of year, and each case involved a dark-colored truck. Each one involved a woman alone on her bicycle late at night. Each woman was headed east.

Another indicator in Hurlbert’s case that she was struck intentionally was that there was a parked car not far in front of the location of the initial impact, Ayling said.

That car would have been difficult for someone who was drunk to maneuver around, he said, yet the person who struck Hurlbert was able to avoid the car.

EVIDENCE OF A DRUNK DRIVER

On the other hand, this hit and run has characteristics of a drunk driver crash.

“The evidence at the scene suggests a drunk driver to me, but that doesn’t change how we’re investigating it,” Ayling said. “We’re looking at all possibilities.”

At the scene, the skid marks on the road show the driver overcorrected as they went around the turn, a signature of a drunk driver, he said.

Also, the time of night, close to closing time at bars, points toward a drunk driver, Ayling said.

Ultimately, Ayling said it can’t be determined for certain whether or not this was intentional.

“I don’t know. I wish I did,” he said.

NO VEHICLE DAMAGE

The bulk of the tips that have come in have been about vehicles with front-end damage, Ayling said.

Police now believe it is likely the crash was initially low-impact and there was no damage to the suspect’s vehicle.

“We’re not convinced that there was any damage to the vehicle,” he said. “We don’t know if there’s damage or not, but we feel there probably isn’t.”

There was no evidence left behind at the scene that suggested damage. No bits of car parts or anything like that.

Police are looking for a medium sized or smaller dark pickup or possibly an SUV. They haven’t ruled out a silver vehicle, because silver can look black in the dark, but a tip about about a silver vehicle seen near the crash is no longer considered credible, he said.

CLEANING THE STREET

Ayling said the city planned to resurface part of Washington and Railroad streets to clean up the terrifying skid marks left behind by the hit and run.

He said the city had received complaints about the disturbing marks on the road.

Workers tried to clean them off with street sweepers, which went over them several times, but that didn’t work.

Anyone with any information about the crash can still call investigators.

Detectives assigned to the case can be reached at (231) 995-5152 or anonymous tips can be called in at (231) 947-8477.

 
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