Widely reported this past March, 2013, was the death of Dr. Barbara Penelton, 75, following a car crash. But nowhere in any article was mention given to the victim of the crash, Tammy Hall-Mathews, whose medical bills are in the mid-six figures and climbing following multiple surgeries, extended physical therapy, and potentially permanent injuries. In the articles discussing Dr. Penelton after the crash, Ms. Mathews is simply “the other driver,” such as in the following reports:
WEEK/WHOI Reports Educator Speculated to Have Had “Heart Attack”
PJ Star Article Discussing Praise as “Icon”
Illinois Legislature House Bill in Honor
Tri-County Urban League Mourns Loss
What was also just confirmed: Dr. Penelton was drunk at the time of the crash. In fact, she was not just drunk by conventional measures – her blood-alcohol content was measured by Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll to be a 0.352, as she reports on September 9. Typically, this level of BAC is equivalent to “surgical anesthesia,” and coma is possible.
An accompanying report reveals that Dr. Penelton vomited in the ambulance en route to the hospital. She also had bruises around her left eye from falling a week earlier on vacation.
Meanwhile, Ms. Mathews is dealing with extensive injuries.Perhaps the record should reflect her side as well.