A Tragedy That Affected All of Us

The news reports this weekend about the tragic motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of a 32-year-old Cape Cod man who had just become a new father  — as he was returning home at night from the hospital after visiting with his wife and child — caused all of us to pause for a moment to ponder how life can be so cruel and capricious.

The victim, Kevin Quinn, 32, was a former Marine who had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Although Mr. Quinn had survived military duty in one of the most dangerous places in the world, he could not make it home safely on what should have been an uneventful ride back from the hospital on Route 28 on the Cape.

There has been much discussion about whether the operator of the other vehicle, who also was killed in the crash and who had a lengthy criminal record, should have been released from jail and out on the street, especially in view of a recent arrest for operating under the influence while being out on bail on another serious charge.

Questions also have been raised as to whether the police officer should have broken off the high-speed chase that resulted in the fatal crash, especially when the speeds reached 65 miles per hour and the suspect was passing other vehicles. At what point does an officer have to realize that giving up the chase is a preferred alternative to placing the lives and safety of everybody else at risk? We do not pretend that there are any easy answers to these questions. However, what is clear is that a confluence of all of these factors resulted in the death of a wonderful young man, who had served his country honorably, leaving his wife a widow and their newborn child without a father.

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