truly sad and awful story.

this story recently reported in the ajc absolutely punched me in the gut:

Just 12 days after she and her family moved to Clarkston from Nepal for a “better life,” 6-year-old Sukmaya Mager was dead, run down by an SUV driver illegally passing a stopped MARTA bus, police said.

Six-year-old Sukmaya Mager died Wednesday of her injuries after being struck by a vehicle when she got off a MARTA bus. A Newton County man allegedly passed the bus on the wrong side of the road, hitting the Clarkston girl.

“Today would have been her first day at Indian Creek Elementary,” Clarkston Police Chief Tony Scipio told reporters Wednesday, just hours after Sukmaya died of head and internal injuries.

Her parents and her 10-year-old brother, refugees relocated to the Atlanta suburb, are in “disbelief”, the chief said. They don’t understand U.S. laws and culture, they do not speak English and they have no relatives here, according to Scipio.

so much about it just saddens me. an innocent little girl, leaving a war-torn past behind. starting out here in the land of opportunity and being killed by that most quintessential of american sins; impatience.

maybe it’s because i ride marta almost every day that this affected me so much. i see it too; people who fly around marta buses, because they just can’t be incovneienced to wait an extra three or four minutes while the bus stops to let people off. maybe it’s because i walk a lot to, and have almost been run down in crosswalks by people not looking coming off of stop signs.

i don’t know for sure, but this story really, really affected me.

i found out about it from creative loafing author andy nouraee on his twitter feed, and andy dug up some information on the international rescue committee here in atlanta that was responsible for resettling this family and sent it along to me. i made a donation this morning is sukmaya mager’s honor, hoping that maybe some of that money can be used to help that family in this tragedy.

one thing to note as well, everyone the irc settles is here in this country legally as a refugee. the us accepts thousands of war refugees from all over the world every year.

maybe you could consider doing the same.

here is the link again:

international rescue committee in atlanta

6 Comments so far

  1. silverrubicon on August 13th, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

    As far as I know, it’s not illegal to pass a MARTA bus that is letting off passengers. Exactly how did this person pass a bus and hit a departing passenger? Did she get off the bus and immediately walk across the road in front of the bus?


  2. james hervey (jeherv) on August 13th, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    wow, dude.

    even if all that were true, your first reaction to a 6 year old refugee from violent conflict being run down by a car is to wonder if the poor little girl is to blame.

    by the way, if you had clicked the link or even read through the quote i posted, you would have noticed that the driver, who by the way is being arrested for this, crossed a double yellow line to pass the marta bus.

    i take it you don’t ride marta, i do, so let me explain what i am fairly certain happened. lots of marta stops are no where near a good place to cross the street. there is one near my office where the nearest light or crosswalk is a half mile away. often if no one is coming the other way, the bus will hold traffic behind it to let the pedestrians get across the street.

    i would bet that that is what happened here. the driver, who by the way, again if you had clicked the link, you would have known has a history of this and other reckless driving activities, decided he didn’t want to wait, and sped around the marta bus. since he was in an suv he couldn’t see “this person” as you refer to the six year old refugee girl and hit her.

    that’s just a reconstruction based on my experience, it may not be accurate, but it is clear from the article that the police officer who witnessed the accident SAW the driver cross into the wrong lane to pass the bus.


  3. james hervey (jeherv) on August 13th, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    i’m sorry, i reread your comment and “this person” was in response the alleged perpetrator of the reckless driving crime. so i take that back, but still….


  4. silverrubicon on August 13th, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    I do ride MARTA. Take the train every day, take the bus occaisonally. A MARTA bus should never hold traffic behind it to let pedestrians cross the street. If there’s no double yellow line, it’s perfectly legal for a car to pass a MARTA bus.


  5. james hervey (jeherv) on August 13th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

    fair enough but it happens and these people were literally just off the boat.

    maybe they should have looked both ways, maybe the driver shouldn’t have done what they did, but in my mind at least, there is a 6 year old girl who is dead today and all indications are that if the driver behind the bus had been a little more patient she wouldn’t me.

    i s’pose we are going to have to agree to disagree on our outlook on this one.


  6. BOHO Moe (mmoebes) on August 14th, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    I used to be on the Board of a charity that helped the IRC gather shoes from triathletes and runners. Wonder if this girl’s family ever wore any of the shoes I gave them?

    Sad.



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