A Deadly Distraction



My brother met Don at Tulane Law School in New Orleans many years ago. They were classmates and stayed close friends even with Don remaining not far from New Orleans in nearby Pass Christian, MS on the Gulf Coast and Tony living miles away in Maryland. Don took a graduate degree at NYU when I was working in New York and we’d occasionally pal around. A loyal friend, he came to my wedding in Oregon in the late Eighties. Several years later we visited Don in Crested Butte, CO which may have been the last time I saw him.
Over the years, I would hear about Don from Tony, trips he had taken, visits he had made. He loved to travel and was a great history buff.
This winter, we learned that Don had been in a car accident in April 2013 which plunged him into a coma. Only after he died last month, never regaining consciousness, did some of the details of the accident come through. He had been on his cell phone, either talking or texting – DOES IT MATTER? – and had gotten distracted.
Apparently, the type of brain trauma Don had experienced, known as shearing or tearing of the brain, could not have been worse, as I learned from a website:
“Tearing in the brain is very serious because in a sense it ‘cuts the wires’ that make the brain work. In fact this can be the most problematic of all the possible ways the brain can be damaged.”
What a pointless way to leave such a full life, one that included his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Elizabeth.

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