The Mustang Daily editorial staff would like to apologize to anyone offended or otherwise dissatisfied with Monday’s editorial (“The Mustang Daily doesn’t want to write your obituary”).
After speaking with close friends of Spencer Wood, it became clear that the editorial made it sound as if Wood’s death was a direct result of alcohol consumption.
Several of Wood’s friends have told the Mustang Daily that he had been drinking that night, but a toxicology report was inconclusive. This means that we will never know whether or not his fall was attributed to alcohol.
A front page article on Monday accurately reported the cause of death, which was a fractured skull and hematoma, which he suffered when he fell.
The editors acknowledge that the illustration that ran simultaneously with the piece wrongfully associated Wood’s death with inebriation and apologize for printing it. The intent of the editorial was to remind students of the dangers that come with drinking and to urge them to be wary of themselves and their friends to avoid the unfortunate deaths that result from alcohol-related accidents each year.
The editorial staff in no way meant to disrespect the memory of a fellow Cal Poly student whose loss is both tragic and heartbreaking. As mentioned at the beginning of Monday’s editorial, writing about the deaths of students is the hardest kind of article a reporter can face. The Mustang Daily wrote an obituary commemorating the life of Spencer Wood on Aug. 3, 2006, where friends were able to speak about their memories of him. The article can still be viewed on www.mustangdaily.net here.
The Mustang Daily editorial staff takes pride in its reporting and regrets any misrepresentations of Wood’s character that the editorial may have caused.
Editorials reflect the opinion of the Mustang Daily editorial staff.