A Scary Reminder

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It's far too easy to forget the mistakes of the past, as they recede further and further into the rearview mirror.

All it takes is another near-tragedy to remind us that some simple protective measures still have not been taken more than one year after a tragic accident that left two women dead and three others injured.

On Dec. 10, 2007, a car struck a propane tank at a laundromat in Fries, and the gas that leaked as a result ignited into a deadly fireball.

There were no barriers around the tank to prevent such an accident, and in the aftermath, localities were spurred by the incident to check safety measures at other tanks.

Last week, just past the one-year anniversary of the Fries tragedy, a car struck unprotected propane lines in Galax — again, at a laundromat — causing it to spring a leak. No one was hurt, but the potential for an explosion was very real.

This demonstrates that there are still tanks of liquid propane and propane lines that are susceptible to accidents that could result in death, serious injury or, at the very least, extensive property damage.

(To be clear, the tank at the Galax laundromat had safety barriers, but there was nothing to stop a car from hitting the lines on the building.)

We have a responsibility to those who lost their lives in Fries to use their deaths as inspiration to make sure no one else is ever harmed due to lax safety measures or missing barriers.