The Chainlink

Early details of the driver who evaded police barriers and plowed into SXSW crowds in Austin, Texas early this morning, killing two and injuring dozens, some critically.  Also in the Tribune.  According to witnesses, "bodies were flying in the air..."

Is irresponsible, reckless driving, and running from the law, becoming the "macho" thing to do these days?

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A lot of chicago folks including the brewhub crew is there.

Not an "accident." (Perhaps the correct term is "incident" or "Mechanised mayhem.") "Accident" implies an unpredictable or unintended event or outcome.

 

The driver is facing a capital murder charge.

Good point Mike.  But to our car-centric society, most would still call this incident an "accident."  Because the driver was simply looking for an escape...he didn't MEAN to hit those people.  He wasn't purposely TRYING to run them over.

He may now be facing a murder charge.  But like so many other drivers, as his case comes to trial, I doubt he'll serve any time or pay any significant fines.  It is just the shameful state of our justice system generally, as it relates to injured, maimed or killed pedestrians and cyclists.

It's 2 counts of capital murder on a highly publicized incident.  He'll go to jail, likely for quite a long time.  These were pedestrians that he hit, not cyclists...

clp said:

Good point Mike.  But to our car-centric society, most would still call this incident an "accident."  Because the driver was simply looking for an escape...he didn't MEAN to hit those people.  He wasn't purposely TRYING to run them over.

He may now be facing a murder charge.  But like so many other drivers, as his case comes to trial, I doubt he'll serve any time or pay any significant fines.  It is just the shameful state of our justice system generally, as it relates to injured, maimed or killed pedestrians and cyclists.

Not true. Jail times for traffic deaths caused by DUI have become longer in recent years, in part due to the work the court advocates like the ones for Bobby Cann have been doing.

And if convicted of capital murder, there is no chance that he will get off without long jail time at a minimum

But then again, it is easier to pontificate here on the chainlink on the wrongs of society then it is to spend the time to try and change the culture.


clp said:

[...]

He may now be facing a murder charge.  But like so many other drivers, as his case comes to trial, I doubt he'll serve any time or pay any significant fines. 

[...]

This seems timely - DNA Chicago.  An off-duty Chicago cop was acquitted of felony charges after hitting a cyclist while suspected of being under the influence and fleeing the scene.

I was going to post the update on a recent thread here. I'll look for it now.  

FYI - New site (about 2 months out) will allow you to search old threads by date.   


JM 6.5 said:

This seems timely - DNA Chicago.  An off-duty Chicago cop was acquitted of felony charges after hitting a cyclist while suspected of being under the influence and fleeing the scene.

found it here - http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/chicago-cop-who-allegedly-...

Julie Hochstadter said:

I was going to post the update on a recent thread here. I'll look for it now.  

FYI - New site (about 2 months out) will allow you to search old threads by date.   


JM 6.5 said:

This seems timely - DNA Chicago.  An off-duty Chicago cop was acquitted of felony charges after hitting a cyclist while suspected of being under the influence and fleeing the scene.

I agree that it is unlikely that this driver will get off with a light sentence--namely, because there are multiple deaths involved, and this has become a national story because it is attached to SXSW.  I think the case involving the off-duty cop hitting the cyclist highlights the real problem with enforcement in these situations, though, which is that a driver is really only severely punished (or punished at all) by a court if he/she actually kills the person they hit while driving drunk.    

 
Duppie said:

Not true. Jail times for traffic deaths caused by DUI have become longer in recent years, in part due to the work the court advocates like the ones for Bobby Cann have been doing.

And if convicted of capital murder, there is no chance that he will get off without long jail time at a minimum

But then again, it is easier to pontificate here on the chainlink on the wrongs of society then it is to spend the time to try and change the culture.


clp said:

[...]

He may now be facing a murder charge.  But like so many other drivers, as his case comes to trial, I doubt he'll serve any time or pay any significant fines. 

[...]

We attorneys like the word "collision." 

mike w. said:

Not an "accident." (Perhaps the correct term is "incident" or "Mechanised mayhem.") "Accident" implies an unpredictable or unintended event or outcome.

 

The driver is facing a capital murder charge.



ad said:

I agree that it is unlikely that this driver will get off with a light sentence--namely, because there are multiple deaths involved, and this has become a national story because it is attached to SXSW.  I think the case involving the off-duty cop hitting the cyclist highlights the real problem with enforcement in these situations, though, which is that a driver is really only severely punished (or punished at all) by a court if he/she actually kills the person they hit while driving drunk.    

 
Duppie said:

Not true. Jail times for traffic deaths caused by DUI have become longer in recent years, in part due to the work the court advocates like the ones for Bobby Cann have been doing.

And if convicted of capital murder, there is no chance that he will get off without long jail time at a minimum

But then again, it is easier to pontificate here on the chainlink on the wrongs of society then it is to spend the time to try and change the culture.


clp said:

[...]

He may now be facing a murder charge.  But like so many other drivers, as his case comes to trial, I doubt he'll serve any time or pay any significant fines. 

[...]

It was very poor judgement for the police to provoke a car-chase adjacent to such crowds.  Police should have strict pursuit guidelines.  And on this occasion, should have just let him go. 

And further,  I understand that one of the two deaths was actually a Dutch cyclist, riding his bike.  The 21-yr old driver has SIX kids...talk about irresponsible behavior!  More recent details.

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