The drownings of small children south of here at Tonto Creek was both tragic and heartbreaking. Many of us learned in high school driver education class that a stop sign means halt, a yield sign means give way to others, AND that barricades mean do not enter and do not go around. The driver of the ill-fated military style vehicle will have to live with his poor decision making both emotionally and legally for the rest of his life.

Perhaps, just perhaps, a ray of hope can be extracted from this devastating tragedy. Why not start surveying AND building the long sought-after bridge across the Tonto Creek immediately with a TEMPORARY 5 cent increase in the state gas tax going toward its construction?

The state could offer collateral from the general fund to build the bridge with proceeds going back into the general fund until the debt is paid in full. If this is not palatable to all the other 14 counties excluding Gila, how about a 2-3 cent gas tax on all fuel sold in Gila County (Payson, Pine, Globe, Miami, Tonto Basin, etc.) until the estimated $20 million debt is paid?

Also, a plaque on the new bridge should/could have the names of the deceased children on it placed prominently to commemorate their lives and sacrifices (with parental permission).

In other words, some problems are in need of creative solutions and what better way to honor the memories of these victims than by building a bridge that would have carried them safely across the Tonto to begin with?

Richard K. Meszar, Whispering Pines

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