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No criminal charges over ambulance crash; driver not legally impaired, both vehicles were speeding

Edited by GreenReaper as of Sat 2 Mar 2013 - 20:19
Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

The loss of fursuiter Lemonade Coyote was met with widespread grief among members of furry fandom, including this remembrance from his friend Silver Wolf. Lemonade Coyote's coworker Cody Medley also sustained fatal injuries, after a car drove through an intersection and crashed into their ambulance while they were on the job as medics.

Police said the ambulance was not on an emergency run, but had the right of way when the car ran a flashing red light. An early report that "both medics were wearing seatbelts" is contradicted by a later report that neither wore seatbelts and both vehicles were speeding.

[Prosecutor Curry said] Hammer was driving 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit, while the ambulance was driving 15 to 20 mph over. The posted speed limit was 30 mph.

The driver whose traffic violation caused the crash had a blood alcohol level of 0.038, less than half the legal limit. According to the prosecutor, the traffic violation "does not rise to the level of criminal recklessness", and there will be no criminal charges for the fatal crash.


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It surprises me that running a red light while speeding isn't a criminal offence. Still, justice means abiding by the limits of law. I imagine the driver's conscience will provide punishment enough; and it seems clear that if the ambulance driver had not been speeding, or if those within had worn their seatbelts, the accident would have been far less serious.

As a technologist, I hope advances in self-driving vehicles will relegate these kinds of incidents to the history books. Until then . . . please buckle up, and drive safe — not just for yourselves, but for others.

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That is an infraction, so she will be getting a ticket. Most states have laws that have basically turned lower ranked crimes into "infractions" and handle that through that different process. If you've ever gotten a ticket, you know that when you get it, you're basically getting an indictment/affadavit all in one, and then you have to show for arraignment.

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I do believe that'd get you hit with negligent homicide if running a red light gets someone killed in most states.

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It's a wake up call on how dangerous driving can be and how much you must assume everyone else out on the road is an idiot. You don't need alcohol to result in a death, even with what is considered small bending of the rules (speeding, running a blinking red light, seatbelts) it can result in fatalities.

There really should be some sort of magnfication of punishment if "small" breaks in the law result in death or injury. I'm sure they wouldn't have put the full brunt of a punishment on the woman since the other vehicle was also speeding without reason to do so, but going through the red light and resulting in a fatal car crash should carry more of a punishment than a normal being caught running a red light and being caught. I mean if your actions result in the death of someone else then a small fine really doesn't fit the crime, and no matter what guilt this woman lives with it will be nothing compared to the hole she created in so many people's lives.

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Except who do they punish?

The ambulance's speed was what caused it's momentum to carry it into the cars.. not the woman's speed. (Physics can show this).. the woman ran the light, but if the ambulance was not speeding, it's far likelier that the woman would have been injured since she was speeding. If this collision occurred at the speed limit, then the ambulance riders could likely have been killed because they still weren't buckled in.

That's the problem. Everyone did something wrong here. If she hadn't glanced down. If she hadn't been speeding. If she hadn't run the light. If they hadn't been speeding, if they had been buckled in (as the law REQUIRES of all city employees, they would have been fired if they survived just for THAT.)

I can see wanting to punish someone, but would we still want that if the situation was reversed? What if the ambulance drivers survived, and the lady was killed.. would we be wanting the ambulance drivers punished for the death?

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She wouldn't receive the maximum punishment in such a case, as in civil cases where both parties have some fault involved you decide how much is involved in each side to come out with the final judgment. Is the speeding worse than running a stop sign? *shrugs* It may be determined that they were more at fault than she... but I believe it's ridiculous to say absolutely no criminal charges can be pressed.

And yes, if the woman died and ambulance drivers survived I would say they should be given the same examination determining punishment and that it should carry more weight than a simple speeding ticket.

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I know it seems fickle and minor, but she IS being cited for the failure to stop and the speeding.

The problem really is, it's not just a simple thing. It's not a matter of one person doing something wrong which led to the death of two people. It's everybody involved making tiny little mistakes.

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(see headline)

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Good catch! Curiously, the spellcheck does not work in the title field . . .

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Google it, you'll find the results pretty hilarious...

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I read a report quite a while back about a crash of a police car. The 2 or 3 veterans were killed, the rookie was not -- he was the only one wearing a seat belt.

Quite a further back, in the early 80s, I was not seat belted in, and went over some bumps at a bad speed. The battery almost jumped out of its (weak?) hold down strap, and my body was all over the place. Having to keep the wheel where I wanted it when my bod was in motion has convinced me to always us a seat belt. More then my personal safety, the ability to control the car is somehow a convincer.

But it is sad that such a good person has died.

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