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Imponderable #13: Whatcom County Washington

19 Aug

August 19, 2011

I have a little problem with the way this article is written. It says that “a woman was killed when she was crushed by the stream roller she was operating.” I submit to you that in order to be crushed by the stream roller she had to be standing in front of it, and therefore not behind the controls, so the death occurred because she was not operating it, the exact opposite of what the Associated Press wrote. If she was operating it she could not have possibly been crushed by it. Nice job, Associated Press.

However, that is not the Imponderable, nor will I be making any jokes about how things like this only happen in cartoons, nor will I wonder if they had to use a spatula to pick her up, etc.

How could they not know if she were working on a personal or work project? Do they keep steam rollers just lying around for anyone to take? How many personal projects require a steam roller? How hard is it to tell? If she was paving a public street with a crew of workers, work project. If she was alone paving her driveway, personal project.

Does Whatcom County have a problem keeping track of their steam rollers?

The question is not imponderable, the answer is yes. Check out this story from almost exactly three years before:

Whatcom County has a population of just over 200,000. New York City has a population of over 8 million. A quick search shows that over the same period, New York City, a city with 40 times as many people and which is always under construction somewhere, had the same amount of steam roller deaths, two.

Why does Whatcom County have such a high rate of steam roller deaths?

The question is Imponderable.

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