Feinstein questions federal safety protocols
in Kim death
Senator Diane Feinstein
Bay City News Service
January 7, 2007
A Friday letter from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, to the
U.S. Secretary of the Interior was intended to call attention
to safety protocols on federal roads that might have prevented
the death of San Francisco resident James Kim, Feinstein's spokesman
Scott Gerber reported.
Kim, 35, died of exposure seeking help after his family became
stranded in their car on a Thanksgiving trip in the snowy Oregon
James Kim with daughters Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months.
Photo courtesy Kim family.
According to Oregon police, the family became lost after seeking
an alternate route on a rural road.
The road was a Bureau of Land Management road, according to Feinstein's
office, that was supposed to have been closed to the public.
In the letter, Feinstein, who is expected to chair the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Related Agencies,
urged Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to investigate whether
proper BLM protocols were followed -- specifically whether personnel
followed a BLM supervisor's directive to have the road's gate
Feinstein commended BLM personnel's efforts in the search for
the Kim family, but added that she is "disturbed by what
appears to be a failure to follow instruction and a deviation
from agency policy that contributed to cause this incident.''
Other issues Feinstein raised included patrols and signage around
the gated area.
According to Feinstein, the Kims' car was the third unintentional
entry onto the road in 2006.
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