The Boston GlobeThe fatal crash between a duck boat and a woman on a scooter near Boston Common Saturday has raised concerns about the safety of the large, amphibious vehicles, particularly of the sightlines for drivers who tower above traffic on busy city streets.

“Anybody can see that the duck boat has a blind spot,” said Peter Furth, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University. “The driver is up high and there’s some structure of the boat blocking the view of what’s down on the ground right in front of them.”

Robert J. Mongeluzzi, a lawyer who represents the family of a woman who was fatally struck by a duck boat managed by a Philadelphia-based company last year, said drivers cannot see significant areas directly in front and behind the vehicle.

“There’s no way to make an overly large, World War II military weapon with blind spots safe to drive on city streets,” he said.

It goes without saying that a woman losing her life in an accident like this is a horrible tragedy. We all have nothing but sympathy for her family and the passenger on the scooter she was driving and wish them nothing but the sincerest condolences. So in no way is what I’m about to say should be taken as a lack of respect for them or even their attorney, who’s merely advocating for his client.

That said, is this our response to a tragic accident? To say that all duck boats are deadly and need to be taken off the road? Is that the reaction of a sane and rational society?

Look, I have no particular dog in this fight. I don’t own part of a duck boat company. I took the tour once and enjoyed it. I share the road with the vehicles the way everybody else does. I’ve enjoyed all nine championship parades we’ve witnessed in the last 15 years. Beyond that, if the industry was wiped outlawed tomorrow it wouldn’t affect my life in the slightest.

But I do have a stake in how we as a people react to things. Whenever something horrible happens and someone loses their life, we feel bad about it. And that’s a good thing. It’s what separates us from a colony of ants. But then we feel it’s necessary to do something about it. Anything. Even if it’s a gross and unnecessary overreaction, like declaring all duck boats are death traps and must be banned like they’re assault rifles with wheels.

I don’t know what the safety record is with the things. I know reports are that the driver had a bunch of speeding tickets, though no one can say that he got them while driving for duck boat. But I do know that there isn’t some horrendous track record of them wreaking havoc in the streets and causing all sorts of mayhem. But the way the news cycle is now, by the end of the week it’ll sound like that. It’s going to be like that time a Domino’s Pizza driver was involved in a fatal crash and we had a national debate about whether the “30 minutes or less” guarantee was destroying America.

There are literally a dozen or more duck boats driving around every major city every moment of every day. There will be accidents. Just like there are with ambulances, Toyotas, ice cream trucks, minivans and, yes, scooters. And if we decide that we have to react to every fatality by banning the vehicle involved, it’s going to get very quiet out there.

Again, I can’t stress enough my condolences to the loved ones of the woman who was killed. And if there’s some way to make the duck boats safer, then by all means, I’m on board. But outlawing them because of this is insanity.

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Jerry Thornton
Mayor Marty Walsh is promoting equal rights for transgenders at City Hall. A woman was struck and killed by a Duck Boat. Bernie Sanders wants free tuition for all public colleges.
A 19 year old football player, in Mesa, Arizona, is facing 69 counts of indecent exposure, for showing his genitalia in his team photo with the football team.
Piggy-backing on the news of Pablo Sandoval's surgery, the guys take a look at some of the all-time worst contracts in MLB history.
Bill Belichick's son, Steve, has been promoted to coach the safeties for the Pats.

[0:01:13] ... better off. And and another team like protocols. You know friend. Calls Andy Reid said to him you know we got now can now can he coach or save all I know it happens sometimes yes ...
[0:05:28] ... there. When Steve Belichick is talking doesn't need this rolls eyes yeah Rodney Harrison be better it is. And really it particle the coach I'd like dogs and and like guys who don't work that way up. And Belichick while I was too accelerated Steve Belichick start. Quality control right quality control means go get a that the airport right that's a bill Belichick's that's not the best coaches the racked. And I do think that's some patronage in obviously you don't hiring like that was ...
[0:06:54] ... probably like. Judgment in knows he's got another what you're too. With Tom Brady carrying holds true old a lot of them. So if you are going to capitalize like so many guys have on Tom Brady's. Former greatness greatness than. That the irons hot I'd be up for long yeah and elkington belonged to Jacoby percent in a ...

Pablo Sandoval is going under the knife, and the guys declare his contract the worst in Sox history.
The Red Sox announced that Pablo Sandoval will go under the knife, leaving him out for the rest of the season. The guys discuss the worst contracts in Red Sox history.

I haven’t lived my life as a Notre Dame supporter to not vote for whichever candidate Lou Holtz endorses. He’s a Fighting Irish legend. The man who led them to their last national championship. The moral compass of their program back in the days of their Catholics vs. Convicts rivalry with Miami. And the crazy grandpa of ESPN’s college football coverage. So you’re damned right I’m not making a decision about who should have the nuclear launch codes without getting Coach Lou’s advice.

And you have to admire Holtz’s logic. He’s played Donald Trump’s golf courses and stayed at his hotels. Therefore he knows he’s going to be the kind of president who gives the country the divot-free fairways, well-raked bunkers and perfectly cut greens we deserve. The man who’ll Make America’s Hotels Great Again. If The Donald is good enough to get endorsed by a celebrity guest who probably got a free stay-and-play package at his resort, then by god he should be good enough for you and me.

Let’s just hope Holtz goes stumping for Trump on the day of the Indiana primary. The voters deserve his patented campaign speech.

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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Raptors, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Lightning at Islanders, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Predators, 9 p.m. (USA)
NHL playoffs: Stars at Blues, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The NBA has made an attempt to me be more accountable regarding its officiating, and Monday night’s finish in San Antonio undoubtedly will lead to another acknowledgement from the league of a refereeing error. In fact, the officials themselves admitted their mistake before they left the building.

With 13.5 seconds remaining and the Thunder protecting a one-point lead, Oklahoma City guard Dion Waiters was having trouble inbounding the ball on the sideline when he leaned over and pushed Spurs defender Manu Ginobili, yet no foul was called.

It didn’t turn out as bad as it could have, as the Spurs ended up stealing the inbounds pass and had a shot to win the game. But still, San Antonio was not pleased that no foul was called.

“I was trying to pressure the ball, and he kind of created room with his elbow,” Ginobili said. “It’s a very awkward play. It doesn’t happen very often. So I guess they didn’t see it. With all that, we complain about that, but what can we do? We had the ball. We had a great shot. We had a few other opportunities. So things happened.”

Lakers legend Magic Johnson was more direct, tweeting: Waiters foul on Ginobili was the worst missed call in playoff history.

Lead official Ken Mauer explained to a pool reporter that his crew simply blew it.

“On the floor, we did not see a foul on the play,” Mauer said. “However, upon review we realize and we agree we should have had an offensive foul on the play. It’s a play we’ve never seen before, ever. We should have had an offensive foul on the play.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who talked to the referees when the game ended, echoed previous comments from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade when asked if the league’s acknowledgement of a mistake would lessen the blow.

“No, it won’t mean anything if they do that,” Popovich said. “The game’s over.”

— Leicester City, a 5,000-to-1 shot at the start of the Premier League soccer season, clinched its first-ever title Monday night when second-place Tottenham settled for a 2-2 tie with Chelsea, much to the chagrin of English bookmakers.

The Foxes’ title reportedly will cost the gambling houses $11.4 million.

Leicester players watched the game at the home of leading scorer Jamie Vardy, after the celebrated with chants of “Championes! Championes! Ole! Ole! Ole!”

“Nobody believed we could do it, but here we are — Premier League champions and deservedly so,” Leicester captain Wes Morgan said. “I’ve never known a spirit like the one between these boys, we’re like brothers.”

Leicester City, a team that was playing in the second tier two years ago and nearly was relegated out of the Premier League last season, captured the attention of sports fans all over Great Britain — and the world — with an incredible season against far wealthier and far more star-studded teams.

Tweeted British Prime Minister David Cameron: Many congratulations to Leicester. An extraordinary, thoroughly deserved, Premier League title.

— Steelers linebacker James Harrison confirmed Monday that he will return for another season, posting on Instagram a photo of his jersey coming out of a smoke-filled tunnel with the caption: “I’m back.”

Harrison, who has one year remaining on his contract, said after the Steelers’ playoff loss to the Broncos that he would take some time to determine his future.

Wrote Harrison on Monday: I’ll be 38 on Wednesday and I’m feeling just like a fine wine. Getting better with age.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said over the weekend that Harrison’s return was anticipated.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 3, 1999, which Red Sox catcher made his first major league hit count, hitting a grand slam in the first inning against the A’s in a game the Sox would lose in the 10th despite have a 7-0 lead after two innings?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I like coaching football. I love coaching football. I didn’t retire because I didn’t like coaching football. I retired because I got tired of the lifestyle. After two years off, I’m OK.” Returning Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia

STAT OF THE DAY: 17 — Consecutive home games Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel had won before the Twins saddled him with a 6-2 loss Monday night

‘NET RESULTS: Cardinals batter Yadier Molina loses his balance dodging an inside pitch from the Phillies, and he turns his fall into a pair of push-ups — then singles on the next pitch.

Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera makes a diving stop and completes the throw to first for an out against the Braves.

From Saturday night in Brooklyn, the Red Hook Criterium bicycle race turns into a massive pile-up as a motorcycle that was supposed to lead the riders stalls right after the race begins.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Creighton Gubanich

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Frankie Valli was born on this day in 1934.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar