On June 22, Diane Woolwine, 65, died after being hit by a motorhome while participating in the annual Ride the Rockies bicycling tour; the accident took place outside the small community of Salida. Even though the motorhome driver wasn't cited in the accident, the story seemed likely to get big play on Channel 4, which has been a sponsor of the Denver Post-founded event for many years. In addition, longtime station weatherman Larry Green was along for the Ride -- his last official duty for the outlet prior to retiring.
Instead, Channel 4 did its best to underplay the Woolwine matter. During its 10 p.m. newscast on the 22nd, the accident report was given a quick brush off, with anchor Jim Benemann reading an abbreviated account over footage shot earlier in the day. (This extremely modest piece from Channel 4's website gives an indication of the broadcast item's depth.) Granted, Green appeared live from Salida later in the newscast, but the focus was on the fact that he was making his final update for the station, and not on the tragic mishap that took place earlier. (Wouldn't want Woolwine's demise to cast a pall over yet another fond farewell of the sort that took place regularly throughout the May ratings period.) The old pedaler bantered good-naturedly with the team back in Denver before revealing that he was off to a party with the other Riders.
With one big exception. -- Michael Roberts
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