Man kills a mother & her daughter he'll get a simple fine

Sharon - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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This man broke the law, killed two people and all they will likely do is hit him with a fine. For running a red light.



Apparently he was going so fast he "destroyed" their car. Sent it flying down the road where it crashed into other cars.



http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?sectio...



I can't believe it. What is wrong with our country? Why in gods name can't lable a murderer a MURDERER and slap them with a punishment that fits the crime?

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Rosie - posted on 05/14/2010

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recently a man ran a stop sign and slammed into a car with a mother and her 3 children in it. the women is in critical consition, her 3 year old son escaped with minor injuries and her 5 year old son, and 5 month old daughter are dead. it has come to local newsmens attention that this is the 12th time this man has been cited for reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident causing injury, running red lights ect. that is an example of someone who should be punished severely, not one person with a good record, who made a mistake.

Esther - posted on 04/12/2010

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Joanna - I think it's awesome that you have never in your life been distracted while driving, misjudged someone's speed (or your own), or made any other kind of mistake. We probably should clone you because you're the only person I know who can claim this with confidence. I am a very defensive driver, I obey the laws, I don't make phone calls while driving let alone send text messages, etc. But I still cannot count the number of times where I have tried to change lanes after having looked over my shoulder and in my mirrors and still be surprised that there is another car there. I also freely admit that I have looked over my shoulder for a second to give my son a bottle of water he asked for or just looked in my rear view mirror at him, or been so focused on one thing (a kid who looks like he may kick his ball into the street) that I didn't see what was happening on the other side of the very same street. I have also been in several accidents and have even have had my car totalled twice because of mistakes other people made. I have never personally caused an accident thank god, but I am under no illusion that it couldn't have happened to me or that it won't ever happen to me. I just hope to be spared of anything as terrible as what happened here so I continue to try to be as vigilant as I can. But I'm only human as are most of us.

~Jennifer - posted on 05/14/2010

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not that it probably matters, but :

Hicksville Road does not intersect Central Park Ave, which is what they said in the article (it's actually Central Pk Rd and it's to the northeast of Hicksville Rd) - it does, however, intersect Central Avenue - and it's one of the WORST intersections I have ever been at.

**If** he was traveling west on Central into the sun, it would have been very easy to not have been able to see the red light.
I do feel badly for the family, however, I don't think the driver should be charged w/ murder or manslaughter. If the brakes on the truck (or some other mechanical issue) failed, and in consideration of the company's poor history, I would think that they (the company) should be held criminally and financially liable

Lindsay - posted on 04/12/2010

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What exactly would charging him with manslaughter achieve? It won't bring this mother and child back to life. But it sure will ensure that this man who made a mistake and his family struggle for the rest fo their life. I can understand if he had consistant traffic violations but guess what, it was his first. It was a mistake.



And it's very dangerous using always and never. Yes, you may have never had a wreck before. But even the most cautious person will make a mistake at some time or another. We are human beings and I've yet to meet one that's perfect.

Johnny - posted on 04/12/2010

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I have to agree with Lindsay & Esther on this. If this man was not acting recklessly, drunk, on drugs, or using a cell phone or other device while driving, it is likely that he just made a terrible mistake that will likely haunt him for the entire rest of his days. I can never see the benefit of criminally charging people for their mistakes. Yes, by all means, he should answer to breaking the law of running a red light. However, this appears to be his only crime. The problem is that someone happened to be in the intersection when he broke the law. And they paid the price for him not paying attention. Life is not hardly ever fair. But can you imagine the chaos if we begin charging people when their mistakes lead to more serious consequences. The societal consequences of that kind of thing would be enormous.

When I was rear-ended, the driver who hit me did not see me stop because she was in the middle of doing a shoulder check to change lanes. I remember looking back and seeing her looking over her shoulder, and thinking, "oh shit!". The person who was really responsible for the incident was the driver at the front of the line of traffic who had stopped suddenly to make a left hand turn. Should we have charged him with recklessness for needlessly causing an accident for his own convenience?

I have luckily never caused an accident. I pay careful attention to the road, I lock my cell phone in the trunk while I drive, and I never eat or drink at the wheel. I am actually quite afraid of causing an accident. But no matter how cautious I may be, it is entirely possible that one day, in a split second, I will make a mistake that causes an accident. And I do not even wish to contemplate the consequences. I could be driving when I'm a bit too tired, I could be driving and my mind might wander. Who knows? But the idea that a person should be charged with murder or manslaughter for a driving violation, even one with as severe consequences as this, is a dangerous precedent to set. We should all be perfect, but I've yet to meet someone who actually is.

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It depends. Was this person going too fast and didn't care or was it a mistake caused by a lack of concentration. People make mistakes, it's not the same as murder. It's not like the truck driver breaking into a persons home and beating them to death. Plus the trucking company has to take some of the responsibility. These guys are overworked and sometimes poorly trained.

C. - posted on 05/17/2010

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That man should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. It may have been an accident, but he wasn't paying attention, ran a red light and two innocent people were killed. It shouldn't just be let go and he shouldn't just be handed a fine. The time you start saying 'Oh it was just an accident..' is when everyone who drives recklessly w/o drugs/alcohol involved and kills someone in the process, is the time when nobody receives a just consequence for their actions. Whether you all like it or not, he killed that mother and daughter and he needs more than a slap on the wrist!!!

Emma - posted on 05/17/2010

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Ok hear in SA he would be going to jail for that it falls under manslaughter,
He intentionally ran a red light and killed two people by doing so, if he had followed the law and stopped they would be alive. He may not of intended to kill anyone but he did.
This was not in my view an accident, he chose not to stop thus guilty of manslaughter.

Suzette - posted on 05/14/2010

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Cathy S said ... "Second degree vehicular homicide encompasses all vehicular homicides without intent to kill that involve any other violations of the laws governing the operation of motor vehicles. For example, a death resulting from a failure to yield to oncoming traffic, speeding, or driving too slowly, unless such constituted reckless driving, could be charged as a homicide by vehicle in the second degree.



Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment or other confinement for up to 1 year, a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. However, at the judge’s discretion, punishment may be suspended or a probation sentence may be received.



Unless they find a fault with his truck, I don't see how it can be determined just an accident even if he was only going 5mph over the speed limit. Whatever the official sentance, he still needs to be charged with the crime he has commited."



I agree with Cathy on this one. I also agree with Jenn. IF his vision was impaired, it should be taken into consideration. However, the punishment should fit the crime. It looks like 2nd degree vehiclur homicide would fit. As Cathy's post said, it is "punishable by imprisonment or other confinement for up to 1 year, a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. However, at the judge’s discretion, punishment may be suspended or a probation sentence may be received."



It is tragic that anyone died, however if people want the law changed then they need to get into a place to change it.



As far as what Jenn said, "If the brakes on the truck (or some other mechanical issue) failed, and in consideration of the company's poor history, I would think that they (the company) should be held criminally and financially liable."

I think that'd be considered criminal negligence, depending on whether or not the company was aware of the brakes.

Karissa - posted on 05/14/2010

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At least, involuntary manslaughter. An accident is an accident. I'm sure he didn't plan on killing anyone, but it did happen. And he should be dealt the consequences of his actions.

Esther - posted on 04/12/2010

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There's speeding and there is speeding. You can be going 70 where the limit is 65 mph or you can be going 100 mph. Also, the recklessness of it depends greatly on the circumstances. If you're doing 80 at 2 AM in the morning when you're alone on the parkway, that's much less reckless than going 70 mph in a construction zone where one lane has been closed. A blanket judgement isn't possible. And it's absolute nonsense to say that you should be prosecuted for manslaughter if you missed someone crossing the street because you sneezed. I think that would violate the intent of the law. And intent is at least as important, if not more, than the letter of the law. As Lindsay has said, prosecuting this man just because it would be possible under the letter of the law, serves no purpose. It's not going to deter anyone from sneezing, looking over their shoulder or changing the channel on their radio. It won't stop anyone from being distracted. More importantly, it won't bring back this poor woman and her daughter. Sometimes awful things just happen and we don't need to compound them by ruining another life.

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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It's so sad that illegal parking and speeding/running a red light are in the same category.

Lindsay - posted on 04/12/2010

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I just found something interesting....Apparently running a red light is a different offense than reckless diving....



"Traffic violations generally come in two main groups, these being minor and major violations. Minor violations can include acts such as speeding, illegal parking, failure to stop, running a red light, and overloading a vehicle. More serious offenses include DUI/DWI and reckless driving. Both types of violation hold consequences for the driver, some financial and others more serious."



http://www.lawcore.com/traffic-violation...

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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If that's how you take it, then everyone would be guilty of "attempted manslaughter." You should just use common sense when driving.

And did I ever say I've never ever been distracted? Nope, don't believe I did. I said that I do nothing but driving while I drive, and that is in the present tense. I was a teenager once upon a time! I got 3 speeding tickets as a teenager, and like I mentioned before, I threw a cigarette out a window, right in front of a cop, because I was chatting with a friend (although she was driving, but still, neither of us were paying attention).

But after losing a family member and 2 close friends in car accidents, I take driving as what it is... a GREAT responsibility. I am entrusting my family's life to my driving, why would I ever do anything to put that at risk? I'm not saying that while driving I won't have a huge sneeze (you can't not close your eyes while sneezing), and if something like that were to happen and I injure/kill someone, it is 100% my fault, accident or not, and I will take responsibility for taking someone's life, because I was behind the wheel. I would expect no one to have pity for me.

Esther - posted on 04/12/2010

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Then I guess my husband is guilty of attempted manslaughter too. But he got lucky. Do you really claim that in all your years of driving, you have never ever been distracted for a single moment? You never ran out of the house in a rush and drove slightly above the speed limit to make that appointment? You have never been distracted because you were thinking about the million and one things you still had to accomplish that day or that family member you just heard was admitted to the hospital? Never? Ever?

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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The definition of reckless is without caution/careless.

Not paying attention at an intersection is driving without caution.

Esther - posted on 04/12/2010

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Where does it say he drove recklessly though? If he was reckless then yes, as I said, he should be prosecuted. But if he drove normally and just didn't see the red light, then he made a mistake and it was an accident. I think texting while driving is reckless. I don't think looking over your shoulder at your kid is reckless. I don't think changing the channel on your radio is reckless. But any of those things could still result in an unintended breaking of the law (failing to yield for example) and in a terrible accident.

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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Regardless of people's feelings on this, we have to think of what he did... he drove recklessly and in turn people's lives were taken. That is pretty much the definition of vehicular manslaughter (I couldn't find an exact definition, but look anywhere, Wikipedia, any type of website dealing with traffic laws, etc... I found this definition: "Vehicular manslaughter is the charge that occurs when a driver, whether intoxicated or not, drives a vehicle in a reckless and unsafe manner which results in the death of another individual.")

His actions deserve that penalty, by law, regardless of feelings here.

But then add some feelings into it... say you were in the situation where someone was, say, texting while driving, they hit you and kill your children. They made a simple mistake while driving, but your children are dead. How can your feelings NOT play a part in that? If they had simply been driving legally, your children would be alive.

I think for all of us, we would hope that people would obey traffic laws to a T... and for those who don't, don't they deserve the charges they incur?

Lindsay - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think what you are missing though is that the only crime he committed was running a red light. That is the only thing he is guilty of and therefore the only thing he can legally be charged with. All emotions aside, you have to use logical thinking. As heavy as it rests on anyone's heart, the traffic violation is the only thing he is at fault of.

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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Ooooh, a violation and a fine. I got the same thing when I threw my cigarette out the window as a teenager. This man KILLED 2 people due to his actions. A violation and a fine won't cut it.

As a truckdriver he needs to learn how to drive safely... that's his job, driving. He needs to know how to read traffic signals, coming up to a traffic signal, even if it's green, he should know to be ready on his brakes.

Lindsay - posted on 04/12/2010

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But he's not getting off with nothing. He now has the traffic violation against him. Along with the fine, it will be on his driving record. And with his job being driving a truck, it may cost him his job. Which will likely lead to him having to find other work because another company will probably not hire someone without a clean driving record.

I dare say this mistake was not intentional. Most aren't. When I make a mistake, whether behind the wheel of a car or while preparing dinner, I don't think I'm going to make the mistake beforehand. It's realized after the fact. There are a number of reasons he could have ran that red light. It was probably not simply disregarding the signal. Whether the sun was glaring and he couldn't see it or just that a thought was in his head and he missed it. It was an accident, plain and simple.

Joanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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What kind of example is made when he gets off with nothing though? People who disobey the law (whether it's a mistake or not) need to take the charges that come with it. No, it won't bring back this mother and child, but perhaps if he is made an example of and sent to jail maybe others will think twice about not paying attention while driving, and save some lives in the meantime.

And it's funny that you say it's "dangerous" using always and never... yeah everyone makes mistakes, but if you are prone to making mistakes when driving that's even more dangerous... you probably shouldn't be able to operate a vehicle if you are going to allow yourself room to make mistakes while driving.

Joanna - posted on 04/11/2010

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I don't care if it's an accident or not. If you take a life due to your carelessness, you should at least get manslaughter charges. Sure we all make mistakes, but guess what, driving is serious business, if you can't pay attention to the road and follow the laws, you need to deal with the consequences that come your way, and if taking a life happened, then take the charges that come with it!

No, I have never been in an accident, I obey every traffic signal, I turn my phone off when I'm driving, I do not do anything while driving OTHER than driving, and that's the way it should be. And if it so ever happens that, say, a wasp flies in the car and I get distracted and run a red light and kill someone, I will damn well take the manslaughter/murder charge, because I was distracted, and it would be my fault.

Lindsay - posted on 04/11/2010

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This is truly a tragic accident. And if his drug tests come back as negative, that's what is was, an accident. I do not think he deserves to be charged with murder. Living with the guilt of knowing you took two lives should be punishment enough. He made a mistake, as I'm sure we all have, and it resulted in devastation. The video did say that even though the company has had a bad track record, the only previous violation from this driver was a seatbelt citation.



I lost a close friend in a traffic accident just 2 years ago. It was Easter weekend of '08 and we saw Robert at the gas station filling up his motorcycle. We talked to him while we were both filling up and he even got Madeline out of the car. He couldn't believe how big she had gotten and was talking to her and letting her sit on his bike. I can remember him telling us that it was the first time he was able to get his bike out that year because it was just turning warm. He was so excited to be able to ride again. But he said that since he hadn't had time to clean it up, he wasn't going to ride to town but was going to cruise the country and head home to get it cleaned up. He gave Madeline a little fist bump, helped her get back in her carseat and headed on his way. We were the last people to talk to him. About 10 minutes later, a truck pulled out of a hard to see curved sideroad and hit him. He was thrown about 50 feet and died from the impact. His sister was my brother's girlfriend of nearly 6 years at the time. I got a call from my brother about an hour after seeing Robert. He was crying telling me of a close friend that had died. I couldn't believe it. I even struggled with telling them I had just seen him in fear that they would blame us for him not leaving 10 minutes earlier and avoiding the accident. When I did, his mother found great comfort that he was so happy doing what he loved when he passed. Should the guy that hit him, actually a family friend, have been charged with murder? No. He wasn't intoxicated. He made a mistake that lead to devastation. But he still struggles with the guilt. That is the ultimate punishment.



In life we all make mistakes. Multiple people can have a bad judgement call and it can result so many different ways. Some may cause minor pain, some the ultimate pain or even the loss of a life. But sometimes, the exact same mistake may not result in anything. It's a bad situation and truly sad, but this man is not a murderer. He should not be locked away as one.

Caitlin - posted on 04/11/2010

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After reading the other posts, I feel the ned to add that that was the third time the man who caused the accident was charged for going through red lights, he apparently just didn't think it was important to stop.

Caitlin - posted on 04/11/2010

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My husband lost his first wife because some guy ran his red light, smashed into her car, sending her spinning into uncoming traffic where she was hit by a truck. He had to unplug her, I can't even imagine how hard that was. She was pregnant at the time as well. I believe these people should be charged as murderers as well. The guy that did ti got off, because it "took too long" to get to court. Seriously, it's shameful there is no justice for the victims!

Rosie - posted on 04/10/2010

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i agree with esther and erin. it's an accident, and if he wasn't drunk, the video said he passed the breathalizer, i don't know what else they could legally do. where i live an elderly woman ran over a man in the walmart parking lot and killed him. because the accident happened on private property they can't even give a citation to the woman. i sure hope that his family can sue her, but i think the poor old woman doesn't need to be criminally prosecuted, i'm sure she already has punished herself enough. same with this guy.

Esther - posted on 04/09/2010

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I'm with Erin. I think if they rule it an accident the driver should not be charged with murder or manslaughter. I think someone who gets behind the wheel of a car drunk SHOULD be charged with murder because they intentionally took that risk. Same with someone who is driving recklessly (serious speeding). However, we've all made mistakes while driving. A few years ago my husband and I and my parents were in San Francisco on vacation and we were trying to find our way to a certain location. We were all so focused on reading the street signs that we missed that the light had just turned red light and my husband ran it. While we were on the intersection the other cars who then got the green light all started to honk but behind the first two lanes there was a BRAND NEW Corvette who couldn't see us because the car next to him was an SUV. It was a fast car and it was so new that it didn't even have plates yet, so the driver was undoubtedly having some fun testing it out and he slammed on the gas as soon as he saw the green light and slammed into us. Of course my husband was at fault since he had run the red light and we all admitted that wholeheartedly. Fortunately nobody got hurt. It was just some damage to the cars. However, stuff like that does happen. And if someone had gotten hurt or god forbid killed I think charging my husband with something would not have made the situation any better and would not have been "fair" either (think for example about the impact something like that would have on our son). I also cannot imagine having to live with the knowledge that the mistake you made cost someone else their life. Let alone two people, one of whom was a child. That to me would be the worst punishment imaginable.

[deleted account]

Second degree vehicular homicide encompasses all vehicular homicides without intent to kill that involve any other violations of the laws governing the operation of motor vehicles. For example, a death resulting from a failure to yield to oncoming traffic, speeding, or driving too slowly, unless such constituted reckless driving, could be charged as a homicide by vehicle in the second degree.

Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment or other confinement for up to 1 year, a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. However, at the judge’s discretion, punishment may be suspended or a probation sentence may be received.


Unless they find a fault with his truck, I don't see how it can be determined just an accident even if he was only going 5mph over the speed limit. Whatever the official sentance, he still needs to be charged with the crime he has commited.

Erin - posted on 04/09/2010

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Although it is a very sad thing that happened, if they see it as an accident, he will only get charged for running the red light. It didn't say any particulars, like if he failed his breathalyzer or if he was high on drugs. Also they are looking at if something mechanical happened to the truck.

Let's put ourselves in his shoes......we cause an accident, we were going the speed limit, no drugs or alcohol in our system and killed people by "accident." How would you feel if you got charged for murder and put away in prison for a long time or any time really? I would feel that was it would be unfair.

I've witnessed this with my own eyes, in high school we were at a pizza place, a few of my friends decided to go home early. The next thing we had heard was they were in an accident and one of my friends had died. There were no drugs or alcohol involved, he was probably going a bit faster than he should have been ( you know teenagers.....they think they are invincable). He was charged with reckless driving and made to pay a fine, I'm thankful everyday that he wasn't put in prison and made to feel like a criminal.

On another note if this man that caused this accident is found to have alcohol or drugs in his system while the accident happened, yes he needs to be punished for that. Not just fined.

I went back and watched both videos again.....in the one it says he passed his breathalyzer, in the second it said they didn't know.

[deleted account]

At the very least it's manslaughter, he killed while committing an illegal act. A fine really doesn't cut it if his negligence and selfish choice took the lives of two innocent people.

Jessica - posted on 04/08/2010

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That is so sad, and unfortunatly to many people are worried about that bastards "rights" then about actual justice. Don't want to put the poor mean killer away, might hurt his feelings. bah!

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