While almost everybody these days seems to be wrapped up in the holiday hustle and bustle, anxiously looking forward to the upcoming Christmas and New Year's celebrations, often there are sad stories that make the traditions of gift-giving and toasting in another new year seem trivial.
On Tuesday afternoon, a Fort Myers resident became one of those stories.
The 34-year-old was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a construction vehicle parked alongside McGregor Boulevard, about one mile east of the Sanibel Causeway.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the rider - traveling eastbound along McGregor - failed to yield the warning sign given by a flagman at the scene. Witnesses said that he was speeding and weaving through the slowed traffic prior to his motorcycle striking a Ford pickup truck parked along the shoulder of the outer lane.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. Only 10 days before Christmas.
As season approaches, island residents, vacationers and commuters have gotten used to dealing with slowed traffic along Periwinkle Way, the thoroughfares along Sanibel's southern artery and across the causeway itself. Many of us have even been offered one of many "insider shortcuts" around the prime-drive-time daily crawl heading off the island, which usually don't work anyway.
Both on and off the island, construction seems to be everywhere. Workers in hardhats, orange warning cones, temporary closure signs and roads in various states of repair may be an inconvenience, but there is no way to avoid them.
The reality is that traffic is something we all have to deal with; some of us every day, others every so often.
In this time when we are all thinking about our personal to-do lists, buying those last few gifts for our loved ones, when arriving promptly at a holiday party might seem to take precedent over getting there in one piece, we would encourage all of our readers to consider what a loss of life would mean to family, to friends.
Be aware on the roads, be wary of your fellow drivers and be safe this season and all year long. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
- Reporter editorial