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Oct. 1st, 2008 | 10:58 pm

I learned that Jen Futrell died today. (EDIT: I now have heard that Jen Futrell's family made the decision to take her off life support. From what I have heard, her body is still functioning, even though they believe she's brain dead. I don't know any further details.)

She was hit by a red minivan while riding her bike on Bardstown Road in broad daylight yesterday, around 3 or 4 pm. I don't know any other details other than she had been taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

God, this is crushing. I was never close with her, as we just ran in the same circles while I was involved in Brat/Brycc House activism. However I always had a level of respect for her. She had a kind of quiet dignity. I remembered her most for an insightful article she wrote for Brat in its early days about the creation of Liberty High School. She wrote that she was dissatisfied with her options within JCPS and saw Liberty as step in the right direction, supporting student choice. I remembered being impressed with her writing style - her words were strong with a natural rhythm, and she didn't need any editing even though she was a contributor unfamiliar with our expectations. She either had just graduated, or was about to graduate, from Atherton at the time.

Jamie sometimes likes to ride his bike to Manual in the early morning, and it terrifies me. I have been hit twice by cars on Bardstown Road, and nearly side swiped countless others (at least a few seemed intentional). In the dark, when motorists are barely awake in the wee hours of the morning (or drunk and just coming home), it's just not safe to ride in Louisville, especially on Eastern Parkway. I don't know if Jen was wearing a helmet. If you read the comments on the Courier-Journal web site underneath the story of the accident, you'll see the jaw-dropping comments of absolute morons who really seem to believe Jen got what she deserved... just for riding a bicycle. Someone, and I think it's Daisy, wrote his own wish that he could U-Lock their necks to a street lamp.

Poor Jen Futrell. This shouldn't have fucking happened.

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Comments {4}

no such thing as tmi

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from: grrrlishgrin
date: Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
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What makes me even sadder is that when you google her name, you find this:

http://www.safestreetslouisville.org/

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secretlifeofz

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from: secretlifeofz
date: Oct. 2nd, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
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I googled her yesterday and found the same thing. I'm in the midst of trying to organize a Critical Mass in her memory with that organization, but I'm going to wait for those closest to her to respond first.

I envy the European countries who seem to have a much greater level of respect for cyclists. Years ago we were set on moving to the Netherlands after I got to experience Amsterdam bike traffic. That's the way it should be. American drivers are just awful.

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The Lily of the West

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from: lilyofthewest
date: Oct. 2nd, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
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What you said. I hope I can make it to Jen's funeral, as soon as I find out when it will be. I'm glad you are working on a CM for Jen.

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mandy

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from: unconformed
date: Oct. 5th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
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So, so awful.
It's so horrible to even think about. I find myself tearing up randomly, and I didn't even know her well.

Louisville is a scary place to bike. It could have been anyone. Poor Jen, and her poor family.

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