Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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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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