First of the month rant — December: Brotzman’s misses not reason for Boise’s “Black Friday”

Posted: 12/02/2010 in college football, first of the month rant
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A college football game ended last Saturday night and a few seconds later a Boise television newscast was exclaiming that it had indeed been a “Black Friday” in Boise.

The newscast tease to keep viewers from changing the channel had nothing to do with the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving sales frenzy or the fact that three young people died in the early-morning hours.

It was referring to how Kyle Brotzman had booted away Boise State’s national title hopes some 22 hours earlier by missing two chip-shot field goals in an overtime loss to Nevada.

Oh, did I mention three people died early Friday morning?

The deadly car accident got approximately 15 seconds of play about 10 minutes into the telecast. And right on into the next story they went.

I’m guessing the families of Jamie Taylor, Danielle Vacca and Rebecca Cross would much rather have had a family member screw up on national television than get the news they received on Friday morning.

According to police and various media reports, a wrong-way driver named Noah Willhide slammed his vehicle head-on into the young women as they were driving on the side of the road they were supposed to be traveling. Taylor and Vacca died at the scene and Cross was fighting for her life. Willhide also died.

Reportedly, Willhide had been seen drinking and using drugs at a party shortly before the accident. Multiple media outlets reported that Willhide had two previous DUI arrests.

The accident hit a bit too close to home for me – my youngest brother, Danny, and I were on that same road. Missed being involved by about 45 to 90 seconds. Maybe even less.

Had checked my cell phone to see what time it was upon leaving the checkstand after taking part in “Black Friday” for the first and probably only time in my life. The time was 1:53 a.m. My brother’s purchase receipt had 1:54 printed on it.

The accident spot was about 2 1/2 miles away from the store. Factoring in the time it took to walk to my brother’s vehicle, put our bags inside and navigate our way out of one of Boise’s many dreadfully constructed parking lots, it was likely 1:58 or 1:59 when we drove through the area.

The accident was reported at 2 a.m. and the road was closed at 2:04 a.m.

We saw nothing out of the ordinary as we passed through. All was quiet and peaceful.

My reaction was much different Friday morning after I casually clicked on a television news link story on and read details of the crash that closed the road for five hours.

All you need to do is read these words from witness Crystal Bates on the Web site to grasp the ghastly scene. (

“It was just horrific,” Bates said. “You could even see on the firefighters and paramedics faces, the agony in their faces, how horrific it was and how sad it was because they couldn’t help these people. It was so bad, the cars were literally smashed.”

It sunk in immediately Friday that just a little more browsing time in the store might have left my brother and I in Willhide’s path.

I thought of the possibility of young nieces Isabel and Mallory losing their father and nephews Zachary and Jacob waking up to learn that two of their uncles were no longer alive.

You don’t need to ponder much more than that to realize the pain and suffering people close to Jamie Taylor and Danielle Vacca are feeling. Same goes for the family of Rebecca Cross as their daughter recovers from injuries serious enough that she was transferred to Seattle to be treated.

As for Kyle Brotzman, sure, he had one rough Friday night.

It certainly ranked pretty badly on a sports scale and he was ridiculed endlessly on socially media sites. But he’ll be kicking footballs again this Saturday when Boise State plays Utah State.

You see, Brotzman gets to keep on living.

Jamie Taylor and Danielle Vacca weren’t given that option.

  1. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s