Friday, January 06, 2006

Looking For The Ghost of Sam Kinison

For reasons hard to describe, I've been looking for the highway location where the comic Sam Kinison was fatally-injured on April 10, 1992. I mean, I wasn't all that fond of Sam Kinison when he was alive (a bit too crude for my taste), but one can only sympathize with having his promising life cut short in the desert by a 17-year-old drunk driver. And in any event, my taste has deteriorated since the 90's, so today, I'd probably be a big fan.

Even New Mexico, the drunkest-drivingest capital of the country, has been cracking down on drunk driving, finally getting rid of that ultimate modern convenience, the liquor store drive-up window. New Mexico's tolerance for drunken driving has seriously constricted, especially after the horrible 1992 Gordon House accident that wiped out nearly an entire family west of Albuquerque on I-40. There were three trials (two juries deadlocked), with several changes of venue, so the entire state got to hear the sad details, over and over again, for several years. No sentient individual in the state could ignore the case, no matter how much they wished it to go away. Ultimately, the third jury found the talented (but momentarily weak) House guilty, and sent him to prison for 22 years.

The Kinison accident location is on Highway 95 near the California/Nevada state line, apparently somewhere between the I-40 junction, and the turnoff to Laughlin, NV on Highway 77.

On the drive to Albuquerque, I scoped out the area, under the impression that the site was just south of the Highway 77 turnoff, and located two descansos, or roadside crosses, in the general vicinity, but one cross seemed to be too far north and the other cross seemed to be too far south to be the correct location.

On the way back from Albuquerque, I logged onto the Internet in the Mohave County library in Bullhead City, AZ, and located a Web Site that suggested that the accident site is 3 to 4 miles north of I-40: still vague, but better than nothing. Nevertheless, after weaving and meandering and dodging RVs and semi-trailers all along Highway 95, from I-40 to the Goffs Road junction, I wasn't able to locate any specific accident site (the previously-located southern cross apparently belonged to "Jeff"). So, either I was looking in the wrong place, or the location has no monument.

Looking at the Web today, I located this Web Site, which suggests I missed a few, subtle clues...

Maybe Howard Stern and Adam Carolla can get together and put up a suitable marker....

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