The responsibility for May 18's traffic debacle on Interstate 80 rests more with the Summit County Sheriff's Office than the now-deceased driver who was the object of the high-speed pursuit. It calls seriously into question the judgment of the Sheriff's Office, whose purpose is to protect public safety, not endanger it.

The suspect refused to be pulled over after being reported for alleged fraud for failing to deliver services for which he had been paid; hardly a capital crime. Did his action really justify a rapid escalation into something resembling "Smokey and the Bandit"?

The authorities could have used his license plate or the information provided by the complainant to track him down.

Paul Jacobson

Morrison, Colo.