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Author Topic: Speeder (talking on cell phone) runs light, kills two kids  (Read 1942 times)
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Jeff
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« on: October 30, 2004, 05:02:37 AM »

her penalty? $112 and 3 points on her license.

I really hate this world sometimes

The stereotypical spoiled ditz in an SUV, not paying attention, talking on a fucking cell phone, runs a light, and kills a 2 year old and 5 year old.

She has several prior speeding tickets.

No criminal charges can be placed against her due to the way the dumbass laws are written.   :x

In Georgia, if you're seen talking on a cell phone while driving, it's a $250 fine.

WTF ever happened to criminal negligence?
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DarkEL
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2004, 05:10:01 AM »

UGH!!!!!


That's hideous

excuse me while I go watch my 3yr old sleep for a little while now.
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Zero
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2004, 05:28:28 AM »

There is just NO excuse for what she's done...both talking on the cell phone and running the red light - a real bad combo.  I can't count the number of times some A-hole runs into my lane or coming close to hitting for no other reason than they were on their cell phone and thought that was more important than driving!  I've also had a close friend almost killed because some idiot thought it was fun to run multiple red lights, and after the fourth light he ran, he slammed right into her car going full speed, there were no streak marks to mark him braking.

This is just plain stupid law...like what DarkEl says...i'm going off to watch my kids sleeping...
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Zekester
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2004, 12:50:56 PM »

:x  :x
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Greggy_D
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2004, 02:12:41 PM »

Whatever happened to Vehicular Manslaughter?

That's absolute BS.  She got away with KILLING two kids.
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Juntei
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2004, 04:34:57 PM »

What about a civil lawsuit?
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Calvin
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2004, 04:41:08 PM »

This is absolutely laughable. All you have to do to demonstrate she was driving recklessly is show she had willfully impaired her ability to drive "properly". Running a red light may not be prima facie indication of recklessness, but that combined with talking on a cell phone woudl certainly rise to recklessness in the book of any reasonable human being. The DA should charge her with, at least, reckless endangerment, which should allow for the charge of vehicular manslaughter.

Florida should also seriously considering revising those traffic laws too. (duh)

Sorry Juntie, forgot to address your post in my first submission. Yes-the family of the deceased can file a civil suit on behalf of the children. I would imagine it would not be difficult to prove negligence in this case given that the woman a. ran a traffic light, b. was talking on a cellphone and at least had a substantial portion of her concentration elsewhere, and c. yknow, she hit and killed the children.

So, the basic elements of torts are: duty, breach, causation, remoteness, and remedies. I really dont have the strength to write out a law school exam answer based on the scace evidence in that article, but it sounds like  they have a decent chance with a civil lawsuit.
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Jeff
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2004, 05:08:36 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"


So, the basic elements of torts are: duty, breach, causation, remoteness, and remedies. I really dont have the strength to write out a law school exam answer based on the scace evidence in that article, but it sounds like  they have a decent chance with a civil lawsuit.


Would her past driving history play into it? frequent speeding tickets going towards her consistency of disregard for the safety of others?

IMO, she should do at least 10 years in prison, and possibly have her DL revoked permanently, but that's probably my emotions talking.
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Calvin
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2004, 05:16:36 PM »

Prior behavior generally is inadmissible to prove guilt:

    (a) Character Evidence Generally . Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:

    (2) Character of Victim . Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same, or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor;

So...you can see here that GENERALLY the court will not allow the prior driving record, although the final decision is of course up to the trial judge. The case I just looked at to pull those Rules of Evidence (I was too lazy to transcribe the pertinent rules from my maryland or federal evidence books) is from North Dakota if you can possibly believe it, and in that case the trial judge excluded prior misdemeanors from being introduced to show pattern of behavior and the Nevada Supreme Court declined to overrule the trial judges prerogative in that case, stating that:

"We will not overturn a trial court's exclusion or admission of evidence, unless the court abused its discretion. State v. Clark, 1997 ND 199, ΒΆ 26, 570 N.W.2d 195. A trial court abuses its discretion when it acts in an arbitrary or capricious manner or misapplies or misinterprets the law."

I think my point was that its difficult to get that type of evidence introduced. Im rambling though, as I am watching football, playing poker, typing here, and eating pizza at the same time smile
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leo8877
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2004, 05:17:08 PM »

The laws must be different here in California, because last year a lady veered off of the road and hit/killed two children on the sidewalk and she's in jail.

Is it because running a red is not a crime that she's free?
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Jeff
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2004, 05:52:46 PM »

Quote from: "leo8877"
The laws must be different here in California, because last year a lady veered off of the road and hit/killed two children on the sidewalk and she's in jail.

Is it because running a red is not a crime that she's free?


According to the article:

Quote
"Unfortunately, that's the most we can charge them with (running a red light). We can't charge them with vehicular homicide. We can't charge them with manslaughter. Our charges are limited based on the ways the laws are written," said FHP spokeswoman Kim Miller.


According to the laws, the most she can be charged with is running a light that results in a crash. $112 fine, and 4 pts on her license.

Several witnesses saw her talking on her cell phone as she went through the light. There were no skid marks, so she was CLEARLY not paying to attention to even what was right in front of her. If she had even been remotely aware, she probably would've skidded before impact.

Rage is right, FL laws are in desperate need of change (esp the cell phone part), and maybe this case will be the catalyst for change.
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Calvin
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2004, 06:05:10 PM »

The absence of skid marks is a HUGE indicator that she was reckless and breached her duty to drive carefully (As if runningt he light doesnt) It shows that she made no effort whatsoever to stop, which could be inferred to mean she didnt even see them.

Stupid bitch.

Jeff, you didn't like my mini essay on introducing prior acts to prove present culpability???!!!

OH NOES!!!111
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VynlSol
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2004, 06:40:10 PM »

It makes absolutely no sense to me how the driver could plow over two small children and only get ticketed with running a red light. There has to be more to this....I wonder if the driver is connected (part of an influential family)? I read the article, and understand that Florida's laws relating to this incident are borked, but how in the hell can a DA not realize that NO SKID MARKS at the point the driver ran over that family, after she had zoomed through a red light clearly indicates reckless operation of a motor vehicle, REGARDLESS of whether she was talking on a cell phone or not?

From the article, "Unless investigators determine Townsend was driving recklessly."  Who the hell is doing the investigating, the Keystone cops?

So I guess any homicidal nutcase can go to Florida and start running down innocent people and come out of it with a fucking traffic citiation?
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Zathras
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2004, 09:05:36 PM »

Quote from: "Juntei"
What about a civil lawsuit?



I would certainly hope that there will be some sort of very large cicil judgement against this driver.  If the state criminal laws can't do anything with this one, then I hope that this lady will be paying for this one for the rest of her natural life.
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Raven
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2004, 11:50:07 PM »

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Jag
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2004, 03:47:32 PM »

Jeff, as a fellow Florida driver and the father of 2 kids, nothing angers or upsets me more than hearing this. My pet peeve since moving here has been the idiocy of cell phone drivers. Even when i do it, i notice how much worse i drive, which is why i try to never talk on the phone, even on speakerphone.

I'm all for making headphones mandatory or banning cell phones in the car altogether. I know there is a congressman in Palm Beach who lost his daughter to a cell phone homicide. He is trying to get the laws changed, but the cell phone lobby is too strong. Fucking bastards, their precious minutes are worth more than people's lives. No surprise.

I can't believe they won't charge this bitch. There is clear reckless/negligent indifference which is enough for a manslaughter charge. The key is that they say, 'unless they find her reckless' they didn't say that they won't. I can't imagine there not being an outrcy to send her to jail.
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rshetts
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2004, 04:31:51 PM »

Her previous speeding tickets can be brought up in a civil case, I believe.
 The rules of evidence in a civil case are substancially relaxed.  
 The facts seem to point to reckless endangerment and unless she is very connected (as someone else pointed out) I cant and dont want to believe that the people in Florida wont create enough of a noise to force a criminal case here.  This lady ended the lives of two children through thoughtless negligence.  The children cant be brought back.  There has to be some justice here or the "elected officials" may lose their jobs.
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