Reader: Jenny Kush would still be alive if someone had stopped that drunk driver

Jenny Kush.
Our post about the tragic death of Jenny Kush, a cannabis-scene star killed after the car in which she was riding was struck by an alleged drunk driver heading the wrong way in the HOV lane inspired many heartfelt comments. But one stands out -- a raw, emotional post from the person who was in the car with Kush when the accident took place....

iamthenewrevolution writes:

Jenny was my passenger when we got hit. We were at the (hed) P.E. show and were totally sober. The darkness you feel right before the nightmare begins IS real. Now I'm trapped in a nightmare that many have had to experience, thanks to an uninsured drunk driver. If anyone ever sees someone getting into a car that is intoxicated, it is your responsibility to help stop any way you can. If we are a real community, we would try to prevent stupid shit like this!!

It is beyond time that cannabis, a CLEARLY SAFER CHOICE, stops being criminalized when 0 deaths come from it, while there are bars, liquor stores and other alcohol outlets EVERYWHERE! This is embarrassing as a country and as a community of humans!

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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Not sure I believe she would be alive, but only for philosophical reasons (ie., when it's your time, it's your time); however, and that's a BIG HOWEVER, when someone knowingly refuses to act when they know someone who is driving drunk, that person is just as guilty as the drunk driver.  Mind you, I am not saying all drunk drivers can be stopped, but every drunk driver has friends and/or family who know what they are doing (especially when that person has a prior record).  To be the friend or family member of an alcoholic and do or say nothing to stop them creates culpability.  SPEAK UP!  Sure you might lose a relationship, but it's much better than the alternative.

Wayne Lee DeNucci
Wayne Lee DeNucci

@ Aaron its legal to have on you dumbass but you still buying it illegal and that against the law

Angie Valdez
Angie Valdez

Im sorry but I have never heard of anyone driving from being just stoned. Most people I know that smoke dont drink. Its all about responsibility, personal and socially. The person who consumes the alcohol,the last server, the LQ that sold the alcohol,etc. In this case the driver already has one DUI, obviously dint learn.


From correspondence with Paul Saurini, Re: Jenny Kush: Hi Michelle,

In thinking about what happened to Jenny, I've considered it from another angle of responsibility besides the drunk driver(who is ultimately responsible for the moment and she has no excuse).

Before I got the shocking news of Jenny's death, I had already heard someone died from a head-on collision from the HOV lane.

I have had a problem with the HOV lane for many years. It's that when a driver is going Northbound on the HOV, they are forced by law to drive on the left side to distinguish high occupancy vehicles from people who pay to use the HOV. So people who drive with individual transponders proceed on the right side of the road heading north so that they are properly accounted for on the road with their transponders since they don't have multiple people.

So years ago my dad was already referring to the "drunk jerks" who will inevitably go the wrong way on the HOV lane. Forcing people to drive on the left when the HOV is heading northbound forces them to be more likely to be hit head on by someone driving the other way who is staying on the right.

My point being is that these are positively unnecessary deaths. Every unhindered entry point to the HOV essentially mathematically guarantees that another "drunk jerk" will be driving in the HOV the wrong way and that more people will inevitably die. Except that many of these deaths are unnecessary! 

I do not know who it is, but the HOV is a combination of government and private industry. I believe that if they know that people are dying from this system that they should be held hugely liable for it.

The HOV does not have to result in people dying from head on collisions. The fact that it EVER happens should cause for a huge outcry.

The jury is in on drunken driving. The problem is that people will still do it, and those same stupid people out of their minds will be causing the same kinds of accidents for years to come.

Her death should never have happened first and foremost if the HOV lane were not idiotically conceived. There should be zero chance of this happening.

It will happen again. It's mathematically certain to happen again, but UNLIKE drunken driving, this should not happen again, it NEED NOT, but it certainly will.

And why is it acceptable that people are forced to ride on the left side then? For profit. It's a law about punishing people for riding on the left because some private industry wants to profit.

The law is about someone profiting and has nothing whatsoever to do with safety as a priority by "forcing people to drive on the left" when it is customary and normal law that we're usually driving on the right when there are two lanes.

It's an abomination to me that it's allowed to force people to drive on the left on the HOV.

Aside from the obvious lack of wisdom on so many levels one can point to with drunken driving, this is my fundamental alternate line of thought about what happened to Jenny. We know drunken drivers are on the road and they're a danger, but we DON'T have to let the HOV lane be accessible to drunken drivers who make this horrific mistake/choice. We don't have to FORCE people on the HOV lane to stay on the left side northbound because there is a 100 percent likelihood that the same sort of event will occur again.

Why would this be acceptable? I have had a level of contempt for the way the HOV works for years.

I can't believe you know about that HOV lane… I saw a RTD bus had made that left on to it last winter!! It is so dangerous. I wonder how many accidents, head ons there's been on that? I have been on 52nd many times to see how easy it would be to turn into it. Let's get after it! Lets close that HOV!!! State Patrol may have a record? Can I pass on a few passages from your letter? ML
Hi Michelle,
Yes, you can share things that I said.

I don't think the HOV lane should be closed down, but rather it should be a priority to change a couple of things.

First, nobody should be forced by law to drive on the left when driving northbound. The inevitable drunken driver coming from the other direction will likely be coming on their right(the right lane southbound).

Second, all emergency entrance points should be blocked and only accessible by emergency law enforcement or paramedics. This is really important because these are where many "drunken drivers" will gain access.

I don't accept any of the reasons they give for doing this as being valid. They need a safer way to maintain their private retail road. 

As for the bus, that's insane. I have no idea how that could happen especially since I could only imagine the bus driver would have special knowledge/training about the HOV.


George Young
George Young

Yeah let's encourage people to smoke AND drink then drive. Don't know about you but combining is bad for a lot of people, even in small doses.

George Young
George Young

People are not responsible enough to drive cars period. When I hear something like this I really consider NOT trying to buy one. I never drive drunk but there's always some smack-off who thinks that they are an exception to the rule. I don't feel like putting my life in other people's hands that much is a smart thing to do. Not like biking is much better though...

Sandy Cooper
Sandy Cooper

Pot could be legal and accessible to the point where you could go to the corner store and buy it and that still doesn't mean that everyone who drinks is going to stop drinking and switch to pot. I'm all for legalization but seriously, think about it. There are people who choose to drink and people who choose not to - having another option around isn't necessarily going to make them abandon their first choice. I will always prefer a beer to a joint myself.

Perry UncleBear Beaton
Perry UncleBear Beaton

The empassioned post speaks nothing to a solution of the problem of drunken driving, it simply wants to make it legal for more people to be impaired while driving. I feel sorry for anyone kille dby a drunk driver, and as a society we are terrible at self-regulation regarding the over consumption of alcohol, but making the case for cannabis legalization while mourning the loss of a friend to a drunk driver is a far stretch indeed. Stay on topic.

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

I think that can be said for every person killed by a drunk driver.

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

It's already legal, and it still happened. Dumbass.


@Aaron Harmon People like you are what's wrong with this country. Spreading your hate on a page dedicated to making positive changes and remembering someone's life. You should be ashamed.

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