It happened this past week. A horribly tragic accident involving an SUV and a bicyclist on Pantigo Road in East Hampton Village left a 14-year-old Springs girl dead.
The girl, Anna Lytton, was supposed to graduate this week from 8th grade at Springs School. She was an artist, a writer, a poet, a photographer and much more.
We can’t imagine the heartbreak Anna’s family is suffering and we send them our deepest condolences. Meanwhile, we want to stress that the police have neither cited nor faulted anyone in this accident. Which means at this point, it appears to be just that — a very unfortunate and ultimately horrendous accident.
But we can’t help but fear it signals the beginning of what has typically been the season of tragedy — especially in years past. With this first summer fatality on the road, we are worried that we are poised for what else may be coming our way.
That’s because last summer, you’ll recall, the East End experienced an alarming number of fatalities on the road culminating in a traffic safety forum held by government officials last fall. From a young pedestrian killed while walking in Springs, a series of automobile accidents, it was an intense summer on the roads and left us somewhat shell shocked. It also left us scratching our heads over why this was happening and why it all seemed so much worse than any of us had ever remembered in previous summers.
So with this first fatality of the season, we can only say what we have said so many times before in this space. Please, please, please take it easy out there. Keep your head up and your cell phone down. Exercise extra caution on the roads — whether you are walking, biking or driving — and don’t fight over intersections. There are a lot of type-A drivers out there, as well as befuddled ones who have never been here before. Don’t engage in games of chicken, road rage or tailgating. It’s not worth it. Never has been, never will be.
Instead, take a deep breath and yield the right of way…even if you don’t have to…. especially if you don’t have to. Maybe your kind and calm action will prevent another tragedy from coming to pass further down the road.