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Friends don't let friends drink and drive

109849924.jpg@BAM_MARGERA I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterically for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents

@BAM_MARGERA About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, fuck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat fucking mouth!

To begin with, I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn's family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell, who also died in the crash. I mean that sincerely. It is tragic to lose a loved one. I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true.

I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death. What I knew before posting my tweet was that not long before his death, he posted a photo on Tumbler showing himself drinking with two friends. I tweeted:  


What did I mean by that? I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with "Jackass." I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word "jackass" in the same way in his tweet. [Tuesday p.m.note: Of course there was a double meaning. I was implying that someone who drinks and drives is a jackass. Just as I was when I was drinking.]

The story I read was on the site of NBC Philadelphia, which wrote:

"The one-car accident happened on Route 322 around 2:30 a.m., according to Officer Geiger with West Goshen police. The 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 shot through about 40 yards of trees before it hit the last one and exploded into flames, according to police. The police press release reads, 'Preliminary investigation revealed that speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident'."

The story also reported: "Dunn's passenger, 30-year-old Zachary Hartwell of West Chester, Pa., was also killed. Hartwell worked as a production assistant on the movie Jackass Number Two and starred in Bam Margera's movie Minghags." Hartwell, who was 30, was newly married.

In stories posted Tuesday morning, it was written that Ryan Dunn reportedly drank three light beers and three shots before he drove away from Barnaby's in West Chester at around closing time. No one said if he had been drinking earlier.

In a touching interview with the NBC station, Bam Margera's mother, April, said Dunn was a fast driver and that she told him to slow down "every day" following a bad accident he was involved in more than a decade ago. "He drove too fast and I yelled at him all the time about that," she said.

In another story, Patrick Carmody, Assistant District Attorney in Chester County, was quoted: "In 2005, Dunn was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and entered a first offender's program that allowed him to clear his record after a certain period of good behaviour,"

I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated -- or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?

After I posted my first tweet, Perez Hilton posted an item headlined, "Roger Ebert Responds Insensitively To Ryan Dunn's Death." I read the comments under his item and noted that almost all of them supported me. I tweeted:


This second tweet was widely interpreted on many web sites as me "refusing to apologize." The story of my "refusal" has now gone viral. When I tried to log on to Facebook this morning, I found that my page had been "removed for violating our Terms of Use." That would include, I learned, pages that are "hateful, threatening or obscene." I speculate that my page was flagged by "Jackass" fans. Update: The page was restored Tuesday morning.

Out of this the sane voice April Margera emerges: "He drove too fast and I yelled at him all the time about that."

She was being Ryan's friend.

Friends don't let friends drink and drive.    

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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