Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tragic headline mirrors book plot

In Phoenix, two families are stunned to find their daughters' identities were mixed up. First reports identified Abby Guerra dying at the scene of a traffic accident and Marlena Cantu was in critical condition at a Phoenix hospital. Six days later the roles have been reversed. Now the Cantu family is mourning the death of their daughter and the Guerra family goes from planning a funeral to a bedside vigil.

When I first read this story thanks to my critic partner sending me the link, I couldn't believe it. It is so similar to the beginning plot line for A Case of Accidental Intersection. The book just came out and starts off with a horrendous accident involving a sports car and a cement truck. Both girls look similar. That is the same for the this case where the women look like sisters in the photos. In the hospital emergency room the sheriff's deputy comes in, the family comes in and the hospital personnel is trying to get information on the victim. From my book, it is easy to see how a mix up could happen.

In my book, the woman has a severe head injury, has surgery to relieve some pressure and then is put into a coma to allow the brain time to heal. In the case of Abby Guerra, she had a head injury and is also in critical condition. My book talks about the face and head being bandaged, black and blue, swollen which allows the identification error to continue. Crime beat reporter Mitch Malone takes several days to discover the identification and only does after the victim comes out of the coma. Then the problems really begin...

My heart goes out to these two families struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. Dealing with the accident itself is difficult but then the added stress of the snafu is even worse.

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