I just concluded a week-long, 1,600-mile road trip around southern Idaho. One of the people scheduled for a coffee visit, in downtown Blackfoot, was Chuck Oxley, a long-time Idaho newsman, for a couple of years communications director for the Idaho Democrats, and most recently managing editor of the Morning News. The coffee didn't happen; Oxley wasn't at the newspaper office because he was home with the flu. We made tentative plans to meet later.
Won't happen now. The first bit of news I saw after returning home was about Oxley - he died on Saturday in a one-truck accident, west of Blackfoot. The news hit home as sad and chilling at once.
He was a journalist at a couple of places I also worked (the Idaho Statesman, the Idaho State Journal) and I knew him from those experiences as a solid and committed journalist. Like many people in newspapers in this decade, he left the industry to work elsewhere (in this case, for the Idaho Democrats). But then he pushed to re-enter his old trade, something hard to do in most times and extraordinarily difficult now. Among various options, he was looking into the idea of setting up a suburban newspaper in western Ada County.
Idaho lost one of the good ones in that accident.