June 9, 2009

Apology to readers, but mostly to the family and friends of a young Orinda man

8 a.m. Tuesday: Note to readers: I originally posted a version of the story below, on young people and suicide, last night, after hearing from someone in the Contra Costa Coroner's Office yesterday that they were investigating the death of Joel Aaron Yee, 20, of Orinda, as a possible suicide.

He is the young man who flung himself from a moving car Saturday night on Highway 24 between Lafayette and Walnut Creek. News accounts, citing information from the California Highway Patrol, indicate that he didn’t accidentally fall out of the passenger’s seat of the Honda Accord, going 70 mph. 

After publishing that story, which talked about young people and suicide in light of the possible cause of Yee's death, a reader advised me that the Contra Costa Times had updated the story saying, reporting that Yee had argued with the driver of the Accord, a woman, prior to jumping from the car. No suicide investigation is mentioned in this Times story, which suggested that the official theory of his death had changed or was pending. Tried to check again with the Coroner's office last night, but the office was closed.

It's now around 8 a.m. Just checked in with the Coroner's Office, who says the "manner of death is pending."  However, the cause of death has been listed as blunt force trauma to the head.  

Anyway, last night, I initially decided to keep the original story up, thinking it was still important to write about the topic of young people and suicide, in light of things I'd been learning lately, and which I describe  below. 

But early this morning, I decided to take down the original story, deciding it was wrong to use Yee's death in one about young people and suicide, when "the manner of death is pending. " I don't like pulling a story. But I'm not being fair to Yee's friends and family to suggest information about a situation that is still under investigation. That's wrong, and I apologize.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have to apologize. First thing came to my mind when I read this: did this man try to take his own life. Very tragic, and the coroner and police have to be asking that question as well. Also, what's your definition of suicide? One definition is taking your own life, intentionally or doing something reckless that causes your own death. Jumping out of a car going 70 seems pretty dangerous. You gotta know that you could get hurt or killed. It might have been an impulse in the heat of whatever was happening between him and the driver. A friend who worked on a suicide crisis line says that a lot of suicides aren't planned and are impulsive and the person doesn't even say anything about it before he does it.

Anonymous said...

crzy, what am I missing, your stories are still there saying possible suicide, etc. did you only dream you removed the story?

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 2:15: I should have clarified: I removed one story, the one where I used Yee's as a case to discuss the issue of young people and suicide. I left the very first story in place. Why? Because that's what I reported as soon as I received that information. I removed the second story, because it appeared that the information, or a version of the events had changed.

With regard to the first story, I updated it. What I DIDN'T do is change the headline, so thanks for calling me out. I fixed that.

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of the family and can say Joey was a gifted, loving, talented and well loved individual.

If you give this incident serious thought, no one except the two individuals in the car know what took place, how the accident occurred, let alone “why.”
Speaking out on important topics is one thing; using a blog and introducing the subject
in a provocative manner has no merit. I believe the apology is in order, and hope it is sincere. This “headline” caught my attention; my heart is already aching for this huge loss, Joey’s family, my friends. Saying or writing one word that could be misunderstood or add to the grief of all those who care is unconscionable.
Sincerely, CMRing
9 June 9, 2009 11:12:53 PM said...

Wow, there is a lot of helpful information in this post!