Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
After boasting that she had knocked over a cyclist in her car, Way has become international news.
Meet Emma Way, the protagonist of a modern-day fable of sadism, social media, and justice.
On Sunday, Way was driving in the vicinity of Norwich, England, when she plowed into a cyclist named Toby Hockley, knocking him into the bushes. But instead of stopping, Way drove on, tweeting:
Whether the pun was intended or not, this would prove to be a costly overshare. Not long afterwards, the Norwich Police reached out, via Twitter of course:
@emmaway20 we have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us— Norwich Police (@NorwichPoliceUK) May 19, 2013
Later, Hockley, who says he was thrown up onto Way's windshield but escaped with minor injuries, phoned the incident into police, and the circle was complete. Norwich police are investigating the circumstances of the accident.
Meanwhile, Way, who is 21 and now known colloquially as "cycle tweet girl," has been suspended from her job as an accountancy intern. She's currently doing a sort of apology tour. "I posted a stupid tweet," Way said in an interview with ITV. "I didn't realize it would ever escalate into this. I'm getting severely bad-named." (Way maintains that she clipped Hockley's handlebar with her side mirror, and if she had known he was hurt, she would have stopped.)
"If I could take back doing that tweet, I would... I'm a cyclist myself." Mhm. Sure you are.
Top image: a bicycle accident in Dublin, via Flickr user Infomatique.