Friday, August 22, 2008

Dispatch Releases Full Article on Car-Related Death of Tracey Corbin

The Dispatch has released a detailed article on the death (and life) of Tracey Corbin, 46, as he was killed by an inattentive driver.

Rather predictably, the driver hasn't been charged with anything yet, as it was "just an accident." This, of course, is ridiculous. Any time a person dies because a driver "just didn't see him" means the driver wasn't looking hard enough - especially since the article indicates that Corbin was fully decked out with lights and reflectors.

Hats off to Mr. Decker, the writer, for pointing out that this rider was doing everything right.
Lights, reflectors, safety vest couldn't save man
Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:58 AM
By Theodore Decker


He had lights on the bike, front and back - reflectors, too. And he always wore an orange safety vest to stand out in the early-morning dark.

Tracey Corbin, 46, shared the road with the cars and the big rigs that rumbled along Alum Creek Drive, so he took it slowly, his family said. More than an hour before he had to punch in at his job at Shaklee Corp. off Groveport Road, he'd leave the Fairwood Avenue home he shared with his mother.

When he arrived, he always called to let her know he'd made it.

"That was a must," Yvonne Corbin said today.

That's what jolted her awake before 6:30 a.m. No phone call.

Then his temp agency called. They knew how reliable Tracey was. Had he left for work? Where was he?

The television news answered the questions. An accident. Alum Creek Drive. A bicyclist killed.

"I knew it was him," Mrs. Corbin said.

Police said Tracey Corbin was headed south on Alum Creek Drive just south of Watkins Road when he was struck from behind by a car also headed south at 5:15 a.m.

The motorist, Michael R. Cline, 36, of 2506 Hoose Dr. near Grove City, called police.

"When you come down through Alum Creek with all these trucks and all the lights, I didn't see this guy," Cline said in the 911 call.

Police have not charged Cline. Detectives told Corbin's family that they would thoroughly review the case.

"It does not appear to be any malicious intent," Stephen Corbin, Tracey's younger brother, said he was told. "Right now, it just looks like an accident."

Tracey Corbin grew up in Columbus, graduating from Eastmoor High School in 1980.

His passion was NASCAR, his room a shrine to the Earnhardt family racing dynasty. Even in grief, that made his younger brother belly-laugh.

"To be an African-American, it was kind of strange to me," Stephen Corbin said, cracking up. "You don't find too many brothers running around watching NASCAR."

Tracey Corbin was unapologetic, apparent in his actions during one Ohio State-Michigan football game.

"This man grabs my remote and flips to NASCAR," Stephen Corbin said, still incredulous and still laughing. "Everybody in the room is looking at him.

"He didn't care," his brother said. "That was his thing."

Hard work was, too.

"Good, humble guy," said Greg Haynesworth II, senior staffing coordinator at PROTEAM Staffing on E. Main Street. "Any job that we sent him to, they would request him to return. He was that guy."

Corbin was cordial, dedicated, punctual and understanding if the agency didn't have work for him.

"Very few people acted the way he did," Haynesworth said.

Whenever Yvonne Corbin worried about finances, her son would reassure her that they'd make ends meet. After too many problems with their car, they bought the bike together at a pawnshop. He pedaled to work even in winter, complementing the vest with an orange hat and orange gloves.

"He died proudly," said his sister, Trina Corbin. "He died going to work."

Stephen Corbin said his brother liked the Earnhardts so much because of the tradition, the strong family legacy they had built.

Thirty-two years ago, on Aug. 7, 1976, Tracey Corbin's father died in a crash on I-70. It was storming that night, Yvonne Corbin remembered. Joseph Corbin was coming home from work. He was 37.

So Tracey Corbin and his father are linked in death, his family said, but also in life. Two family men, making ends meet.
People, not speed.

2 comments:

  1. As a daily bicycle commuter, I'm infuriated the driver isn't being charged with anything yet. Accident or no, it's vehicular manslaughter. If he didn't see the cyclist, he wasn't watching the road. No excuses. Are there any memorial rides going on or anything?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, crap. I have to admit I'm almost disappointed that the cyclist was doing everything right, because if one of us gets killed doing all the right things, that isn't a good incentive to get out there on the road and follow traffic laws.

    I guess the only rule you can really follow is "ride as if nobody can see you."

    I'm so sorry for Tracey. This shouldn't have happened.

    ReplyDelete