Hero & Zero: A kind hiker & a drunk driver

By Nikki Silverstein

Hero: With spring upon us, Marinites in search of wildflowers and waterfalls are hitting the trails. A group of hikers on Mt. Tam navigated the High Marsh Trail last week and came upon a beautiful cataract. As Bettie Mansen, of San Anselmo, snapped photos of the waterfall, she dropped her hiking pole down into the steep ravine. Unfortunately, recent storms had created a muddy mess and it was too hazardous for the trekkers to retrieve it. A few days later, Mansen’s pole appeared on her doorstep with a note: “Found your pole on the mountain. Hope you take it many places.”  Dan Schwab, you’re a mensch for tracking down a stranger to return her gear. (Let’s take a lesson from Mansen and put ID on our valued belongings.)

Zero: Drinking too much to keep up with motorist laws? Let us clue you in. Driving drunk, hitting a cyclist and fleeing the scene will land you in the pokey. Last Friday evening, a minivan struck and injured Jeffrey McWinney, 54, of San Rafael, while he rode his bike in Sausalito. As officers investigated at the scene of the collision, a quick-thinking witness called 911 to inform dispatchers that the suspect’s vehicle exited Highway 101 at Seminary Drive and pulled into the Chevron on the frontage road. There, the minivan’s driver and passenger switched seats and headed towards Tiburon. Busted. California Highway Patrol arrested Karen Steward, 50, of Tiburon, allegedly the drunk driver who hit the cyclist, and charged her with three felonies. Her passenger is in the hot seat too.

Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected]

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