If the pickup truck killed the boy, then charge it. Charge SOMETHING or SOMEONE.


Three times, the newspaper of record stated that a pickup truck struck a boy. Italics have been added.

Texas Boy Killed by Truck as His School Held a Walkout on Guns, by Christina Caron (New York Times)

Photo credit: An 11-year-old boy died after being struck by a pickup truck as he tried to cross a busy highway in El Paso on Friday, the same day that his school and others nationwide held walkouts to protest gun violence.

An 11-year-old boy in El Paso died on Friday after getting hit by a pickup truck while his school held a walkout to protest gun violence.

“Obviously everybody’s in a state of shock,” Xavier De La Torre, the superintendent of the Ysleta Independent School District, said at a news conference on Friday.

The boy, Jonathan Benko, and a group of about 12 to 15 other students from Parkland Middle School in El Paso decided not to participate in the walkout, and instead left the campus to visit a park on the other side of Loop 375, a busy highway that surrounds parts of the city, officials said.

Jonathan, a sixth grader and the last one to try to cross, was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup truck, Officer Darrel Petry, a spokesman for the El Paso Police Department, said on Saturday. He was transported to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where he died.

All that, and only then did the driver belatedly enter the story.

None of the other children were injured, Officer Petry said. The driver of the truck, who stayed on the scene, was uninjured. He was not charged, the police said.

Granted, it’s important to know whether this was one of those newfangled driverless pickup trucks — and it wasn’t — but moreover, given that the pickup truck hit the boy, why not charge the pickup truck, or not … seeing as we seldom charge the driver?

Or do we always lede by blaming the vehicle so there’s a reason not to think about the driver’s role? Except, of course, the authorities would have gone after the driver full bore had he been drunk, as opposed to sober.

It’s all very confusing.

Couldn’t we just charge drivers who kill people?

Isn’t that important?