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(KTLA Los Angeles)   Two women ignore downed power lines to rescue driver after violent crash. Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed and now the driver is facing 2 counts of manslaughter   (ktla.com) divider line 109
    More: Weird, Valley Village, electrocution, manslaughter, fire hydrants  
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13904 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jul 2013 at 5:49 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-25 08:14:16 PM
There was a case in Massachusetts where a passenger stepped out of a crashed car and was electrocuted. The driver was charged with homicide and pleaded guilty to DUI and negligent driving instead. (story)
 
2013-07-25 08:24:35 PM
I see that prosecutors have now found a way to accuse people of stupidity.

/nevermind that the stupidity is equally shared among several victims.
 
2013-07-25 10:57:10 PM
I have to go with the defendant on this one. This is not a reasonably foreseeable occurrence.
 
2013-07-25 11:36:31 PM
How in the hell is a driver of a crashed car responsible for the actions of Darwin?
 
2013-07-25 11:40:32 PM
Insane logic indeed
 
2013-07-25 11:44:51 PM
According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.
 
2013-07-25 11:47:38 PM
ionenewsone.files.wordpress.com

"There, but by the grace of God, go I"
 
2013-07-25 11:55:34 PM

Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.


Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

The press will probably set this up as some grand challenge and then when the guy gets off make people angry because the law isn't written the way they want it to be.
 
2013-07-25 11:56:51 PM

SilentStrider: How in the hell is a driver of a crashed car responsible for the actions of Darwin?



Oh, but it doesn't stop there.

Word has it that the driver is also being sued by the half brother of the future father-in-law of the former fiancee of one of First Responders for the untimely death of his Goldfish.


/Damages for the death of his Guppy are being filed separately, of course
 
2013-07-26 12:48:40 AM
Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.
 
2013-07-26 01:08:14 AM

BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.



I'm SHOCKED that someone hadn't pointed this out earlier.
 
2013-07-26 01:43:40 AM

Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.


I agree.  They approached the car of their own free will, and while their deaths are tragic, he shouldn't be held criminally liable for them.
 
2013-07-26 01:47:42 AM
I don't understand how shiat like this can even happen with all the technology we have these days. If I drop a hair dryer in my tub the ground fault circuit trips within a fraction of a second keeping me from getting electrocuted, why can't power lines have a similar system?
 
2013-07-26 04:26:58 AM

BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.


A bunch of people were electrocuted but not killed, if you actually read TFA.
 
2013-07-26 05:17:25 AM
It happened last summer. I thought the driver had already been charged with manslaughter. I'm surprised that it took this long.

/slightly creeped out because I drove past the crash site yesterday
 
2013-07-26 05:40:02 AM
basementrejects.com

F*cking Valley Village.
 
2013-07-26 05:53:59 AM
Lesson to be learned: If you're a kindhearted person who suffered because you tried to help somebody, sue that person for damages. If you rape a person because you were horny (or you "crave" power), sue your victim as well because you wouldn't have done it if they weren't around to begin with.
 
2013-07-26 06:01:13 AM
I believe it was the two women who got charged here.
 
2013-07-26 06:01:20 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

I agree.  They approached the car of their own free will, and while their deaths are tragic, he shouldn't be held criminally liable for them.


And I agree with his lawyer on this when he said that they should have known the dangers of downed power lines. It is pounded in our heads over and over never to approach downed power lines.
 
2013-07-26 06:06:48 AM
Obviously, the problem here is the 'sports utility vehicle', otherwise known as an SUV.  The on-the-spot reporter made that clear.  When you drive one of these things (or when they drive themselves), murder is bound to happen.
 
2013-07-26 06:08:12 AM

Neighborhood Watch: Obviously, the problem here is the 'sports utility vehicle', otherwise known as an SUV.  The on-the-spot reporter made that clear.  When you drive one of these things (or when they drive themselves), murder is bound to happen.


I'd hate to see what you're like in gun threads.
 
2013-07-26 06:09:15 AM
Have you had time for any other threads yet?
 
2013-07-26 06:13:28 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

I agree.  They approached the car of their own free will, and while their deaths are tragic, he shouldn't be held criminally liable for them.


Losing control of a car while speeding and bystanders being killed is a foreseeable risk of driving too fast. Whether he hit them directly or they died trying to help him after the crash, it was still his actions that caused their deaths, so I can understand it being taken to court to let a jury decide whether criminal sanctions should apply in this case.
 
2013-07-26 06:13:39 AM
I realize this is a slightly older occurrence, but is there some sort of "two women dying in a freakish way" trifecta in play here? Is the next article gonna be two women dying in a fire after their houseboat crashes into a propane barge?
 
2013-07-26 06:17:47 AM
Arman Samsonian of Glendale slammed his sport utility vehicle into a light pole ....


All you people who complain about articles which say things like "The SUV slammed into a light pole...." should be very relieved at the wording here.

I agree that 2 felony charges of vehicular manslaughter are an overreach though.
 
2013-07-26 06:23:09 AM

Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.


No, he's being charged for nothing he actually did. He may have been stupid, but he didn't ask anyone to rescue him. I don't care if a dozen people died trying to get him out of the car; he isn't responsible for their deaths.
 
2013-07-26 06:24:06 AM
I love it when people say..."Oh, I have been electrocuted quite a few times doing...."  I like to say, you know you can only be electrocuted once....
 
2013-07-26 06:34:25 AM
The guy was speeding, like double the speed limit, and passing traffic in a middle turn lane, all because he was impatient to get to the gym.
Driving that recklessly, a car accident with possible death of bystanders IS a reasonable foreseeable occurence.  That the deaths were actually a secondary occurence of the crash (death by electrocution from the downed power lines) rather than from blunt force injuries of the primary collision is really the only thing being argued here.  The guy is still incredibly negligent, and his actions started a series of events that led to the deaths.  One might have some more sympathy if he had been rushing to the hospital in a life-or-death situation like a dying child in the front seat, but this @$$hole was just late for a gym workout.  Hope there's a nice gym in the prison.
 
2013-07-26 06:35:22 AM

HotWingAgenda: BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.

A bunch of people were electrocuted but not killed, if you actually read TFA.


Electrocuted means "killed by electric shock."

They are being kinda smarmy.
 
2013-07-26 06:43:21 AM

Wall_of_Doodoo: ZAZ: There was a case in Massachusetts where a passenger stepped out of a crashed car and was electrocuted. The driver was charged with homicide and pleaded guilty to DUI and negligent driving instead. (story)

So the theme of both stories is basically 'Young people do incredibly stupid things when they're behind the wheel'. I can agree with this whole heartedly. Also late 80's Depeche Mode music was really awesome.


i1.ytimg.com
 
2013-07-26 06:44:41 AM

Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

The press will probably set this up as some grand challenge and then when the guy gets off make people angry because the law isn't written the way they want it to be.


{StopLettingPeopleGoFreeWhoISayAreGuilty.jpg}

/can't find an un-memed pic of that kid
 
2013-07-26 06:45:02 AM
Trees brush power lines, and we get an outage. Where the hell were the in-line fuses?
 
2013-07-26 06:47:05 AM

BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.


I'd have gone with  Electrocuted and killed to death.

Would that be better?
 
2013-07-26 06:51:40 AM

HotWingAgenda: BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.

A bunch of people were electrocuted but not killed, if you actually read TFA.


electrocuted  = Dead
electrocuted  but not killed = Shocked
 
2013-07-26 06:55:17 AM

GoldDude: The guy was speeding, like double the speed limit, and passing traffic in a middle turn lane, all because he was impatient to get to the gym.


You sure they got the right guy?

www.mbird.com
 
2013-07-26 06:55:55 AM
How many dead bodies do you need to see around an electrified pool of water before you stop and think "Maybe I shouldn't walk over there?"
 
2013-07-26 06:58:20 AM

BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.


It is possible to be electrocuted (killed by electric shock) and be technically dead (lack of vital signs) but then be resuscitated by paramedics.
So it is possible to survive an electrocution.
Perhaps you would have preferred :electrocuted and permanently killed"?
 
2013-07-26 06:58:41 AM

Lsherm: Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.


Haven't you noticed the trend? These days the prosecution always charges you with every crime they can possibly think of then goes for the plea-bargain.

"You're looking at two counts of manslaughter, son. That's 20000000 years in maximum security. But ... if you plead guilty I can get it down to 3. It's up to you..."

(plus I can keep on bragging about how I've "never lost a case!")
 
2013-07-26 07:06:52 AM
"Two women ignore downed power lines to rescue driver after violent crash. Just kidding..."

No, they really did ignore downed power lines to rescue the driver after a violent crash. Although it didn't quite work out like that, their intention was still to rescue the driver and they did ignore downed power lines to do so.
 
2013-07-26 07:25:32 AM
Now that's goddamn ridiculous.
 
2013-07-26 07:27:02 AM

HotWingAgenda: BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.

A bunch of people were electrocuted but not killed, if you actually read TFA.


Reading is hard.
 
2013-07-26 07:32:29 AM
I dunno, sunny. Seems to me the women did ignore the power lines.
 
2013-07-26 07:39:30 AM
media.trb.com
 
2013-07-26 07:43:16 AM

ongbok: And I agree with his lawyer on this when he said that they should have known the dangers of downed power lines. It is pounded in our heads over and over never to approach downed power lines.


People get tunnel vision.  Watching out for downed lines and other hazards are things beat into the heads of emergency responders in training and you've still got to watch out for someone focusing on the incident and not seeing that line laying in the street.

The average civilian's training is Louie the lightning bug.  He/she isn't likely to remember that in the heat of the moment.

As far as any safetys go, I'm sure more informed farkers can add detail but there are breakers.  The thing is, you can't ever assume the line's dead.  IIRC, sometimes lines will go dead only to get re-energized as the system tries to see if the problem is self-resolving (say a squirrel committing suicide or other temporary problem).  In short, you can't trust that the line is dead until the guy from the power company tells you it is dead.

And based on the story as written, the charge is a huge overreach.  I would have no problem if the guy had been drunk or engaged in some other activity that could have warranted arrest, but speeding?  That's a bridge too far.

Proper remedy would be a civil claim.
 
2013-07-26 07:45:15 AM

IlGreven: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

No, he's being charged for nothing he actually did. He may have been stupid, but he didn't ask anyone to rescue him. I don't care if a dozen people died trying to get him out of the car; he isn't responsible for their deaths.


When you place yourself in peril through your negligent actions and people come to your rescue, you should be responsible for what happens to them. This is not a new idea and has been around for a while.
 
2013-07-26 08:00:37 AM

Cerwin3302: Trees brush power lines, and we get an outage. Where the hell were the in-line fuses?




Curse you, squirells!
 
2013-07-26 08:02:43 AM
Shouldn't the electric company be held liable? They have the same rights as people now. They should have the same responsibilities. A good lawyer will argue that there is technology that would cut the power if something happens to the lines. Or they can cite the thousands of miles of underground power lines that don't harm innocent rescuers. The electric company had to know that running 40000 volts through electric lines right next to a road way was risky. Yet they chose to do nothing about it.
 
2013-07-26 08:04:41 AM

Harry Freakstorm: Shouldn't the electric company be held liable? They have the same rights as people now. They should have the same responsibilities. A good lawyer will argue that there is technology that would cut the power if something happens to the lines. Or they can cite the thousands of miles of underground power lines that don't harm innocent rescuers. The electric company had to know that running 40000 volts through electric lines right next to a road way was risky. Yet they chose to do nothing about it.


Agreed.  The power lines are clearly at fault.
 
2013-07-26 08:11:29 AM

Bslim: HotWingAgenda: BKITU: Just kidding, they were electrocuted and killed

Redundant headline is redundant.

A bunch of people were electrocuted but not killed, if you actually read TFA.

Reading is hard.


No, speaking proper English is hard.
In English electrocution means death by electric shock. The people who did not die were shocked, they were not electrocuted.

/English as a fourth language, and even I knew this.
 
2013-07-26 08:14:44 AM
I have no problem with this. He was driving like an asshole and lost control of his vehicle. Which caused two people to die who were attempting to help him. Even though he didn't HIT them with his vehicle, his actions caused two deaths.
 
2013-07-26 08:20:49 AM

Bit'O'Gristle: I have no problem with this. He was driving like an asshole and lost control of his vehicle. Which caused two people to die who were attempting to help him. Even though he didn't HIT them with his vehicle, his actions caused two deaths.


And if the car company hadn't sold him a car, he never would've crashed. And if he hadn't had a job, he could never have afforded gas. And if his mother had used protection, he wouldn't have been born. And if Paleolithic algae hadn't coalesced at the bottom of the ocean, gasoline never would've been invented.

Clearly they are all at fault here.
 
2013-07-26 08:23:45 AM

xria: TuteTibiImperes: Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

I agree.  They approached the car of their own free will, and while their deaths are tragic, he shouldn't be held criminally liable for them.

Losing control of a car while speeding and bystanders being killed is a foreseeable risk of driving too fast. Whether he hit them directly or they died trying to help him after the crash, it was still his actions that caused their deaths, so I can understand it being taken to court to let a jury decide whether criminal sanctions should apply in this case.


By that logic, the SUV driver is also culpable for someone who stopped, but didn't assist, then drove away only to be T-boned by a cement truck three blocks away that wouldn't have happened had the someone not stopped at an accident that had not occurred?

nigerplease.jpg
 
2013-07-26 08:28:32 AM
So I should now be able to bring suit against the douche bags who wreck on the highway, and make my life a living hell?

If you can successfully sue people because YOU are a dumb ass who doesn't evaluate a situation before jumping in... well we are screwed.   Why do you think police officers have no legal obligation to charge in and rescue you if someone has a knife to your throat?

These women had good intentions - but they were dumb as bricks to go running into a situation like this. Driver was sitting on the side of the road in a wrecked car, he didn't ask for them to come over, he didn't force them.

This is a clear cut case of the Darwin award. The only fault the driver should have is for any damage done to the city property and the time/effort required to fix it.

From a good smaratian's perspective - you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.   If I'm walking along, and say "screw this" I'm not risking my neck, I get charged with failure to render aid.  If I render aid, I die.   Whoever had the idea of bring charges against the guy, should be kneecapped.
 
2013-07-26 08:33:01 AM

cman: Insane logic indeed


Well, usually the person being charged in this kind of case was  drunk or otherwise inebriated or under the influence, and the fact that they got behind the wheel of a car in that state makes them basically automatically responsible for any damages directly related to the inevitable accident, up to and including the deaths of people that die trying to save their dumb, unconscious ass.  Including, for instance, firemen.

This is a bit more of a grey area because it's a general reckless driving claim being used as justification, which means that the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a normally perceptive person should have seen the specific hazard resulting in the damage and accounted for it, and it's arguable whether damage caused by a collapsed utility pole electrocuting rescuers is really... foreseeable, in that way.  It'd be much more straightforward if she'd killed someone in the crash itself, since that's an easily foreseeable consequence of speeding.
 
2013-07-26 08:46:16 AM
Electrocution is a compound of the words "electric" and "execution." It was coined, likely by Thomas Edison, at the time the electric chair was first put in to use. Later, since there was no term in the English language yet for accidental or suicidal deaths by electric shock, electrocution came to refer to those deaths, as well.
 
2013-07-26 08:49:23 AM
If the women were walking down the sidewalk when the accident occurred, and the power line fell and electrocuted them, then yes, by all means charge the driver.  However, charging him for the actions of two women (however altruistic they were) is a miscarriage of justice, in my opinion.  They, of their own free will and with conscious action, ran to their deaths.  If he had driven off a cliff, and two people died attempting to jump 100' down to rescue him, would he be charged with their deaths?
 
2013-07-26 08:57:29 AM

JustGetItRight: ongbok: And I agree with his lawyer on this when he said that they should have known the dangers of downed power lines. It is pounded in our heads over and over never to approach downed power lines.

People get tunnel vision.  Watching out for downed lines and other hazards are things beat into the heads of emergency responders in training and you've still got to watch out for someone focusing on the incident and not seeing that line laying in the street.

The average civilian's training is Louie the lightning bug.  He/she isn't likely to remember that in the heat of the moment.


People in my town must better trained than the average person. Last summer after a bad storm we had a downed power line on a fairly busy street. When that power line hit the ground the people cleared out like it was the plague. That street went from being filled with people to being completely empty in minutes and stayed empty until the power company came and cleared everything up.
 
2013-07-26 09:14:16 AM
Should have listened to Louie the lightning bug.
 
2013-07-26 09:18:37 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yeah, but it's a royal stretch to assume that death by electrocution is a foreseeable occurrence caused by negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

I agree.  They approached the car of their own free will, and while their deaths are tragic, he shouldn't be held criminally liable for them.


Same here. It's not like he chose to drive into the pole knowing the power lines would fall into a puddle, nor did he force anybody to try to rescue him.

This is one of those cases that are meant to set evil precedents. If this flies then before too long they might want to criminalize coughing because somebody might catch the flu and die of pneumonia. "You knew somebody might be hurt by your refusal to take cough syrup at the first sign of a scratchy throat, yet you fiendishly chose to infect a child!"

Tyranny seldom descends in one fell swoop. The over-reaction to "9/11" was a fortuitous exception: usually it's a long series of little steps, like this case.


 
2013-07-26 09:38:01 AM

Badafuco: I believe it was the two women who got charged here.


are you positive?
 
2013-07-26 09:41:49 AM
Let's see if I learned anything.

Duty of care.
Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co.

Judgement for Power company.
 
2013-07-26 09:56:22 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Harry Freakstorm: Shouldn't the electric company be held liable? They have the same rights as people now. They should have the same responsibilities. A good lawyer will argue that there is technology that would cut the power if something happens to the lines. Or they can cite the thousands of miles of underground power lines that don't harm innocent rescuers. The electric company had to know that running 40000 volts through electric lines right next to a road way was risky. Yet they chose to do nothing about it.

Agreed.  The power lines are clearly at fault.


Not only that, but the company might even be guilty of premeditated murder. Their callous actions, not having such technology in place, make them guilty of first degree murder, and power probably crossed state lines, that makes it a federal case. This clearly is a test run for the corporate death penalty. Lethal injection for the company is what I say. Accomplice charges for every high level corporate officer.
 
G2V
2013-07-26 10:01:20 AM

danno_to_infinity: Badafuco: I believe it was the two women who got charged here.

are you positive?


Potentially
 
2013-07-26 10:04:20 AM

danno_to_infinity: Badafuco: I believe it was the two women who got charged here.

are you positive?


I think they were charged with assault and battery.
 
2013-07-26 10:13:19 AM

Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.


Failure to Maintain Control is apparently a big thing in VA. Class 1 misdemeanor (as bad as it gets before a felony) and punishable by a year in jail. And they don't give it out just for being stupid. Some guy was cited for that because he swerved to miss a lost hunting dog on the hiway, lost control and ditched himself. Injured himself badly and totaled the car. Cop handed him the ticket as he was being loaded on the ambulance (one of the cases before mine in traffic court). He wasn't speeding or had done anything else wrong. Didn't cause any other damage to people, cars or property.

I got issued that for getting in a mild fender bender. This was right after a huge rainstorm. I was turning a corner (which was covered in puddle) and my tire fell into a ditch (pothole? sinkhole? sewer drain?) that I thought was road. It was pretty deep and I felt like I was going over and so I turned hard left to pull out of it, and someone t-boned me at an intersection (right in front of a stop sign, so he has almost stopped by that point) but I was over the white line, so at fault. Cop gives me failure to maintain control, and I'm told to be at court in 3 days for araignment where the judge is asking who needs lawyers. I was wondering what the hell I needed a lawyer for when I found out I could do prison time for that. I explained to the judge that insurance was already dealing with it, and I didn't see why it was a big issue, and he dropped the charge and let me go, but cops give that violation out like candy here.
 
2013-07-26 10:23:51 AM
GoldDude:  That the deaths were actually a secondary occurence of the crash (death by electrocution from the downed power lines) rather than from blunt force injuries of the primary collision is really the only thing being argued here.  The guy is still incredibly negligent, and his actions started a series of events that led to the deaths.

So anything in the string of events that your actions cause, you are responsible for?

So say by causing the accident, the hospital had to dispatch more ambulances than normal, so they call in for an extra shift. While the extra driver is driving his car to the hospital to get in his ambulance, he hits a deer and crashes, mortally wounding him. A rescue chopper is called for that crash and halfway there the chopper suffers a mechanical failure and plummets to earth, killing the pilot. The pilot's wife (they just got married two days ago) is so saddened by this, she takes her own life. But she didn't know she was pregnant, so the fetus dies too. That fetus would have grown up to be a firefighter who would have saved a family of four from a burning building, but now they're gonna die, because he never lived. And one of those children would have grown up to being a CIA operative who kills Hitler 2, but since he doesn't, 6 million more Jews die. So where in the string does his responsibility end?
 
2013-07-26 10:34:34 AM

MythDragon: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Failure to Maintain Control is apparently a big thing in VA. Class 1 misdemeanor (as bad as it gets before a felony) and punishable by a year in jail. And they don't give it out just for being stupid. Some guy was cited for that because he swerved to miss a lost hunting dog on the hiway, lost control and ditched himself. Injured himself badly and totaled the car. Cop handed him the ticket as he was being loaded on the ambulance (one of the cases before mine in traffic court). He wasn't speeding or had done anything else wrong. Didn't cause any other damage to people, cars or property.

I got issued that for getting in a mild fender bender. This was right after a huge rainstorm. I was turning a corner (which was covered in puddle) and my tire fell into a ditch (pothole? sinkhole? sewer drain?) that I thought was road. It was pretty deep and I felt like I was going over and so I turned hard left to pull out of it, and someone t-boned me at an intersection (right in front of a stop sign, so he has almost stopped by that point) but I was over the white line, so at fault. Cop gives me failure to maintain control, and I'm told to be at court in 3 days for araignment where the judge is asking who needs lawyers. I was wondering what the hell I needed a lawyer for when I found out I could do prison time for that. I explained to the judge that insurance was already dealing with it, and I didn't see why it was a big issue, and he dropped the charge and let me go, but cops give that violation out like candy here.


Sounds like the system is working. Cops aren't supposed to be judges. They should charge as they see fit, to the best of their knowledge; it's up to the judge to decide guilt.

/and if a cop puts a lot of BS in front of a judge, they WILL hear about it
 
2013-07-26 10:36:14 AM

wild9: I love it when people say..."Oh, I have been electrocuted quite a few times doing...."  I like to say, you know you can only be electrocuted once....


Google tells me electrocute means "to injure or kill by electric shock."
 
zeg
2013-07-26 10:48:18 AM

MythDragon: GoldDude:  That the deaths were actually a secondary occurence of the crash (death by electrocution from the downed power lines) rather than from blunt force injuries of the primary collision is really the only thing being argued here.  The guy is still incredibly negligent, and his actions started a series of events that led to the deaths.

So anything in the string of events that your actions cause, you are responsible for?

So say by causing the accident, the hospital had to dispatch more ambulances than normal, so they call in for an extra shift. While the extra driver is driving his car to the hospital to get in his ambulance, he hits a deer and crashes, mortally wounding him. A rescue chopper is called for that crash and halfway there the chopper suffers a mechanical failure and plummets to earth, killing the pilot. The pilot's wife (they just got married two days ago) is so saddened by this, she takes her own life. But she didn't know she was pregnant, so the fetus dies too. That fetus would have grown up to be a firefighter who would have saved a family of four from a burning building, but now they're gonna die, because he never lived. And one of those children would have grown up to being a CIA operative who kills Hitler 2, but since he doesn't, 6 million more Jews die. So where in the string does his responsibility end?


I think the limit is "reasonably foreseeable," and it generally only applies (or applies more broadly) if you've done something negligent. So, e.g., the guy who installed the power line (or any of the myriad silly examples you and others have given) isn't legally liable because he was acting responsibly. Though, if in the process of installing the line he had failed to properly secure it and that contributed to its falling, then he might share some liability.

Since it seems the driver was significantly speeding and perhaps driving recklessly in other ways, his negligence (to operate his vehicle safely) led to the crash. It is reasonably foreseeable that this could lead to a bystander to attempt to provide assistance. It's probably reasonable to assume that such a bystander would incur risk of injury.

Is the electrocution foreseeable enough? I don't know. I would think that it's fairly obvious that if you crash into a light pole, you could create a hazardous situation like that. Whether it's enough to create legal liability would depend on the details of the events and the local laws.

It's a weird situation, but it's not obviously unreasonable. Cases like this are why we have courts and juries.
 
2013-07-26 10:53:29 AM

MythDragon: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Failure to Maintain Control is apparently a big thing in VA. Class 1 misdemeanor (as bad as it gets before a felony) and punishable by a year in jail. And they don't give it out just for being stupid. Some guy was cited for that because he swerved to miss a lost hunting dog on the hiway, lost control and ditched himself. Injured himself badly and totaled the car. Cop handed him the ticket as he was being loaded on the ambulance (one of the cases before mine in traffic court). He wasn't speeding or had done anything else wrong. Didn't cause any other damage to people, cars or property.

I got issued that for getting in a mild fender bender. This was right after a huge rainstorm. I was turning a corner (which was covered in puddle) and my tire fell into a ditch (pothole? sinkhole? sewer drain?) that I thought was road. It was pretty deep and I felt like I was going over and so I turned hard left to pull out of it, and someone t-boned me at an intersection (right in front of a stop sign, so he has almost stopped by that point) but I was over the white line, so at fault. Cop gives me failure to maintain control, and I'm told to be at court in 3 days for araignment where the judge is asking who needs lawyers. I was wondering what the hell I needed a lawyer for when I found out I could do prison time for that. I explained to the judge that insurance was already dealing with it, and I didn't see why it was a big issue, and he dropped the charge and let me go, but cops give that violation out like candy here.




Driving is farked.

Massive sudden downpour while driving on the interstate. Hazards? Not allowed. Pull over and wait? Not allowed plus you make a nice target for someone to smash into. A cop stayed right on my ass until the rain passed. 10 minutes of suck.

Glad no one was hurt.
 
2013-07-26 10:57:56 AM

Harry Freakstorm: Shouldn't the electric company be held liable? They have the same rights as people now. They should have the same responsibilities. A good lawyer will argue that there is technology that would cut the power if something happens to the lines. Or they can cite the thousands of miles of underground power lines that don't harm innocent rescuers. The electric company had to know that running 40000 volts through electric lines right next to a road way was risky. Yet they chose to do nothing about it.


Let's not forget about the puddle. Whoever left that conducting liquid laying around has a role in this.
 
2013-07-26 11:20:14 AM
Finally, a case of stupidly helpful people getting what they deserve.

If only a few of those stupidly helpful drivers who stop one lane of traffic (while traffic speeds around them) to let someone (not be able to) go would die horribly, then my day would be complete.
 
2013-07-26 11:20:44 AM

Do the needful: Harry Freakstorm: Shouldn't the electric company be held liable? They have the same rights as people now. They should have the same responsibilities. A good lawyer will argue that there is technology that would cut the power if something happens to the lines. Or they can cite the thousands of miles of underground power lines that don't harm innocent rescuers. The electric company had to know that running 40000 volts through electric lines right next to a road way was risky. Yet they chose to do nothing about it.

Let's not forget about the puddle. Whoever left that conducting liquid laying around has a role in this.




Improper drainage? It's reasonable that that could be a problem.
 
2013-07-26 11:32:23 AM

Harry Freakstorm: [media.trb.com image 300x168]


media.trb.com

Maybe not....  It has been 30 years.
 
2013-07-26 11:33:45 AM
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com

/I  guess if I'm going to hotlink I should preview.
 
2013-07-26 11:42:07 AM

GRCooper: MythDragon: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Failure to Maintain Control is apparently a big thing in VA. Class 1 misdemeanor (as bad as it gets before a felony) and punishable by a year in jail. And they don't give it out just for being stupid. Some guy was cited for that because he swerved to miss a lost hunting dog on the hiway, lost control and ditched himself. Injured himself badly and totaled the car. Cop handed him the ticket as he was being loaded on the ambulance (one of the cases before mine in traffic court). He wasn't speeding or had done anything else wrong. Didn't cause any other damage to people, cars or property.

I got issued that for getting in a mild fender bender. This was right after a huge rainstorm. I was turning a corner (which was covered in puddle) and my tire fell into a ditch (pothole? sinkhole? sewer drain?) that I thought was road. It was pretty deep and I felt like I was going over and so I turned hard left to pull out of it, and someone t-boned me at an intersection (right in front of a stop sign, so he has almost stopped by that point) but I was over the white line, so at fault. Cop gives me failure to maintain control, and I'm told to be at court in 3 days for araignment where the judge is asking who needs lawyers. I was wondering what the hell I needed a lawyer for when I found out I could do prison time for that. I explained to the judge that insurance was already dealing with it, and I didn't see why it was a big issue, and he dropped the charge and let me go, but cops give that violation out like candy here.

Sounds like the system is working. Cops aren't supposed to be judges. They should charge as they see fit, to the best of their knowledge; it's up to the judge to decide guilt.

/and if a cop puts a lot of B ...


If the system was working, the cop could obviously see it was just a minor non-injury traffic accident due to elements I couldn't possibly be expected to control. Had I been speeding, drunk, trying to drive with my feet (*roadhouse!*) , I could understand that. But now I have to miss a day of work to go take care of this BS charge. (would have been two days had I not asked the judge to review my case right then). And even if there is a *possibilty* I could lose a year of my life in jail over something so stupid, that is messed up. It just takes one judge to be having a really bad day to say "I don't like this guy's beard. 1 year in jail for Mr. Muttonchops (I don't have muttonchops, BTW)" And your whole life is farked. Just because *this* judge didn't fark me, doesn't mean the system is working. Failure to maintain control is something you'd hand out to a street racer that skids out and crashes into a baby factory or a truck driver that falls asleep and plows into the govenor's mansion, and you don't have enough to charge them with something worse.
 
2013-07-26 11:42:19 AM
I didn't RTFA because, well... welcome to fark. Anyway, I know you can be charged with all sorts of serious crimes if someone dies while you're committing a crime.  Is this some extension of that rule?
 
2013-07-26 11:43:21 AM
Also, If he created the dangerous situation that lead to their death, he certainly could be on the hook. Even if they came over to help of their own volition, disregarding common sense.
 
2013-07-26 11:43:28 AM
Is the prosecutor from Florida? Because that seems to be a thing they do there now, charging people with shiat they can't possibly prove.

Here's an idea: don't "ignore" down power lines. I'd risk electrocution (maybe) to save a family member, but a complete stranger? No. Esp. one who just ran into the power pole. His dumb ass is his responsibility.
 
2013-07-26 11:58:41 AM

MythDragon: If the system was working, the cop could obviously see it was just a minor non-injury traffic accident due to elements I couldn't possibly be expected to control. Had I been speeding, drunk, trying to drive with my feet (*roadhouse!*) , I could understand that. But now I have to miss a day of work to go take care of this BS charge. (would have been two days had I not asked the judge to review my case right then). And even if there is a *possibilty* I could lose a year of my life in jail over something so stupid, that is messed up. It just takes one judge to be having a really bad day to say "I don't like this guy's beard. 1 year in jail for Mr. Muttonchops (I don't have muttonchops, BTW)" And your whole life is farked. Just because *this* judge didn't fark me, doesn't mean the system is working. Failure to maintain control is something you'd hand out to a street racer that skids out and crashes into a baby factory or a truck driver that falls asleep and plows into the govenor's mansion, and you don't have enough to charge them with something worse.


I suggest that, from now on, you maintain proper control of your vehicle.  By your own admission, you were stuck in a hole and pulled out in front of another vehicle, causing an accident.

/you're lucky I wasn't the judge, Mr. Man.
 
2013-07-26 12:22:25 PM

MythDragon: GRCooper: MythDragon: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Failure to Maintain Control is apparently a big thing in VA. Class 1 misdemeanor (as bad as it gets before a felony) and punishable by a year in jail. And they don't give it out just for being stupid. Some guy was cited for that because he swerved to miss a lost hunting dog on the hiway, lost control and ditched himself. Injured himself badly and totaled the car. Cop handed him the ticket as he was being loaded on the ambulance (one of the cases before mine in traffic court). He wasn't speeding or had done anything else wrong. Didn't cause any other damage to people, cars or property.

I got issued that for getting in a mild fender bender. This was right after a huge rainstorm. I was turning a corner (which was covered in puddle) and my tire fell into a ditch (pothole? sinkhole? sewer drain?) that I thought was road. It was pretty deep and I felt like I was going over and so I turned hard left to pull out of it, and someone t-boned me at an intersection (right in front of a stop sign, so he has almost stopped by that point) but I was over the white line, so at fault. Cop gives me failure to maintain control, and I'm told to be at court in 3 days for araignment where the judge is asking who needs lawyers. I was wondering what the hell I needed a lawyer for when I found out I could do prison time for that. I explained to the judge that insurance was already dealing with it, and I didn't see why it was a big issue, and he dropped the charge and let me go, but cops give that violation out like candy here.

Sounds like the system is working. Cops aren't supposed to be judges. They should charge as they see fit, to the best of their knowledge; it's up to the judge to decide guilt.

/and if a cop puts a ...




Those guys only carry the minimum insurance, by law.
 
2013-07-26 12:23:37 PM

Smelly Pirate Hooker: Is the prosecutor from Florida? Because that seems to be a thing they do there now, charging people with shiat they can't possibly prove.


Do you have $15K to blow?
 
2013-07-26 12:39:06 PM

MythDragon: If the system was working, the cop could obviously see it was just a minor non-injury traffic accident due to elements I couldn't possibly be expected to control. Had I been speeding, drunk, trying to drive with my feet (*roadhouse!*) , I could understand that. But now I have to miss a day of work to go take care of this BS charge. (would have been two days had I not asked the judge to review my case right then). And even if there is a *possibilty* I could lose a year of my life in jail over something so stupid, that is messed up. It just takes one judge to be having a really bad day to say "I don't like this guy's beard. 1 year in jail for Mr. Muttonchops (I don't have muttonchops, BTW)" And your whole life is farked. Just because *this* judge didn't fark me, doesn't mean the system is working. Failure to maintain control is something you'd hand out to a street racer that skids out and crashes into a baby factory or a truck driver that falls asleep and plows into the govenor's mansion, and you don't have enough to charge them with something worse.


She has a name, you know.

cdn.crushable.com
 
2013-07-26 12:51:59 PM

GRCooper: MythDragon: If the system was working, the cop could obviously see it was just a minor non-injury traffic accident due to elements I couldn't possibly be expected to control. Had I been speeding, drunk, trying to drive with my feet (*roadhouse!*) , I could understand that. But now I have to miss a day of work to go take care of this BS charge. (would have been two days had I not asked the judge to review my case right then). And even if there is a *possibilty* I could lose a year of my life in jail over something so stupid, that is messed up. It just takes one judge to be having a really bad day to say "I don't like this guy's beard. 1 year in jail for Mr. Muttonchops (I don't have muttonchops, BTW)" And your whole life is farked. Just because *this* judge didn't fark me, doesn't mean the system is working. Failure to maintain control is something you'd hand out to a street racer that skids out and crashes into a baby factory or a truck driver that falls asleep and plows into the govenor's mansion, and you don't have enough to charge them with something worse.

I suggest that, from now on, you maintain proper control of your vehicle.  By your own admission, you were stuck in a hole and pulled out in front of another vehicle, causing an accident.

/you're lucky I wasn't the judge, Mr. Man.


I might have failed to mention that when I hit the pit, my windshield was covered with muddy water, and I couldn't see shiat.. My choices where try and go left, or possibly roll over.
So you can EABOD (Eat A Bag Of Darkcherries. They're back in season)
 
2013-07-26 01:00:00 PM

Ctrl-Alt-Del: MythDragon: If the system was working, the cop could obviously see it was just a minor non-injury traffic accident due to elements I couldn't possibly be expected to control. Had I been speeding, drunk, trying to drive with my feet (*roadhouse!*) , I could understand that. But now I have to miss a day of work to go take care of this BS charge. (would have been two days had I not asked the judge to review my case right then). And even if there is a *possibilty* I could lose a year of my life in jail over something so stupid, that is messed up. It just takes one judge to be having a really bad day to say "I don't like this guy's beard. 1 year in jail for Mr. Muttonchops (I don't have muttonchops, BTW)" And your whole life is farked. Just because *this* judge didn't fark me, doesn't mean the system is working. Failure to maintain control is something you'd hand out to a street racer that skids out and crashes into a baby factory or a truck driver that falls asleep and plows into the govenor's mansion, and you don't have enough to charge them with something worse.

She has a name, you know.

[cdn.crushable.com image 485x363]




Incontinentia buttocks?
 
2013-07-26 01:00:09 PM

zeg: MythDragon: GoldDude:  That the deaths were actually a secondary occurence of the crash (death by electrocution from the downed power lines) rather than from blunt force injuries of the primary collision is really the only thing being argued here.  The guy is still incredibly negligent, and his actions started a series of events that led to the deaths.

So anything in the string of events that your actions cause, you are responsible for?

So say by causing the accident, the hospital had to dispatch more ambulances than normal, so they call in for an extra shift. While the extra driver is driving his car to the hospital to get in his ambulance, he hits a deer and crashes, mortally wounding him. A rescue chopper is called for that crash and halfway there the chopper suffers a mechanical failure and plummets to earth, killing the pilot. The pilot's wife (they just got married two days ago) is so saddened by this, she takes her own life. But she didn't know she was pregnant, so the fetus dies too. That fetus would have grown up to be a firefighter who would have saved a family of four from a burning building, but now they're gonna die, because he never lived. And one of those children would have grown up to being a CIA operative who kills Hitler 2, but since he doesn't, 6 million more Jews die. So where in the string does his responsibility end?

I think the limit is "reasonably foreseeable," and it generally only applies (or applies more broadly) if you've done something negligent. So, e.g., the guy who installed the power line (or any of the myriad silly examples you and others have given) isn't legally liable because he was acting responsibly. Though, if in the process of installing the line he had failed to properly secure it and that contributed to its falling, then he might share some liability.

Since it seems the driver was significantly speeding and perhaps driving recklessly in other ways, his negligence (to operate his vehicle safely) led to the crash. It is ...


The precedent you are looking for is Wagner v. International Railway.  Danger invites rescue.  Been established law since the 1920's.
 
2013-07-26 01:04:49 PM

SilentStrider: How in the hell is a driver of a crashed car responsible for the actions of Darwin?


Right there with you and just argued the point with some co-workers.  Regardless of the circumstances of the crash if the immediate damage done by the crash (Such as flying debris, or lines whipping through the air) did not harm anyone then he should not be held accountable for the choices of other adults regardless of the outcome of their choices.  They could have chosen to call emergency services who have training for these situations.  Instead, they made a choice that had negative personal repercussions.  It is very unfortunate they died but the driver did not force them to approach his vehicle and they were not legally compelled to do so either.  He should be charged with what ever driving violations occurred and the property damage he directly caused and nothing caused by choices of others.
 
2013-07-26 01:40:23 PM
If it happened in Florida the driver could shoot the would-be rescuers and say that he felt threatened by them.
 
2013-07-26 02:01:40 PM
His actions caused the accident, their actions caused their deaths. This is absolutely farking outrageous that he's being charged.
 
2013-07-26 02:18:45 PM

MythDragon: I might have failed to mention that when I hit the pit, my windshield was covered with muddy water, and I couldn't see shiat.. My choices where try and go left, or possibly roll over.
So you can EABOD (Eat A Bag Of Darkcherries. They're back in season)


So, by your own admission, you drove blind into oncoming traffic?

You're really not helping your case.

/love me some darkcherries, thanks for the tip!
 
2013-07-26 02:33:44 PM

accelerus: If I'm walking along, and say "screw this" I'm not risking my neck, I get charged with failure to render aid.


Please cite any jurisdiction where this is an actual chargeable offense.  We can wait.

Thanks!
 
2013-07-26 02:45:48 PM

ZAZ: There was a case in Massachusetts where a passenger stepped out of a crashed car and was electrocuted. The driver was charged with homicide and pleaded guilty to DUI and negligent driving instead. (story)


And that is why prosecutors charge higher than they should. If that guy had gone to trial for manslaughter, he'd have walked. The other two charges they would have had to work for, but he most likely would have been convicted on. By using the higher charge as leverage, they get a plea and the attorneys don't have to go to trial.

This article doesn't mention DUI or any other charges (no pun intended) against the guy, so I'm puzzled over the manslaughter charge.
Just two idiots who know nothing about scene safety rushing in where they don't belong.
 
2013-07-26 02:47:29 PM
Thanks to everyone who pointed this out, learned something today.

1.to kill by electricity.

2.to (a criminal) by electricity, as in an  electric chair.

Origin:1885-90,  Americanism; electro- + (exe)cute
 
2013-07-26 02:50:28 PM
www.filminamerica.com

I was electrocuted once. It was horrible.
 
2013-07-26 02:53:51 PM
I followed the link provided in the first article to another with more info.
http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/tn-gnp-me-driver-can-be-tried- fo r-manslaughter-in-crash-that-caused-two-deaths-20130724,0,5985196.stor y

It seems that this happened at night. Being at night, the people involved may not have been able to see how the danger manifested. It wasn't a power line, it was a light pole. That means the electricity throughput came from a less visible source near the pole's base. The responders probably could see the water, but may have inferred that he had simply hit a pole.

It is beaten into some people's heads about downed power lines, but there were no power lines to worry about. Instead, it was from a relatively hidden source. People who want to help rush quickly to accidents, and it would take someone there to stop everyone and force them to look to check for that electric hazard.

By driving recklessly, the defendant set up an OBSCURED death trap. Did he mean to? No. That's why it's negligent manslaughter.

I was gonna jump on his reaction in the second article, but I followed up on google and see that he does express remorse, so he's not an utter tool. Just dumb.

Interestingly, he entered a plea of not guilty... last November. I guess it has taken this long for the trial to start.
 
2013-07-26 02:53:55 PM
Is there any way we can bring race into this and start another 6 month media feeding frenzy? Because that would be awesome! Fark is down to only about 6 Zimmerman threads a day lately, which is just boring.
 
2013-07-26 02:56:26 PM

Deucednuisance: accelerus: If I'm walking along, and say "screw this" I'm not risking my neck, I get charged with failure to render aid.

Please cite any jurisdiction where this is an actual chargeable offense.  We can wait.

Thanks!


The number of places this can occur is ZERO. There is no such thing as failure to render aid.

If you are an emergency responder, and you get toned out for an accident like this, you sit and wait for the power company to de-energize the line before you approach the victim. The only way it would be failure to act , which is the real charge, would be if you never responded at all.
 
2013-07-26 02:58:00 PM

mod3072: Is there any way we can bring race into this and start another 6 month media feeding frenzy? Because that would be awesome! Fark is down to only about 6 Zimmerman threads a day lately, which is just boring.


up-ship.com
 
2013-07-26 03:13:38 PM

GRCooper: MythDragon: I might have failed to mention that when I hit the pit, my windshield was covered with muddy water, and I couldn't see shiat.. My choices where try and go left, or possibly roll over.
So you can EABOD (Eat A Bag Of Darkcherries. They're back in season)

So, by your own admission, you drove blind into oncoming traffic?

You're really not helping your case.

/love me some darkcherries, thanks for the tip!


I know you are simply farking with me, but I'll explain.

Upside down T intersection. two-lane back road with little traffic.  Now imagine the upsidedown T. I was moving from right to left on the bottom of the T. Went to turn right. The where I turned was a big ditch or something, and as I hit it, my windshield was compeatly obscured with muddy water. I felt the van start to tip. I was maybe 20 degrees into the turn. If I kept going I would probably end up on my side. So I tried to pull back to the left and go where I would have if I had just gone straight down the road. But where I needed to be was a little hard to judge when you're blind and tilted 30 degrees. So instead of being in the lane on my orignal direction of travel, I was 3 feet into the perpendicular road. The rightside corner of my van hit the left side corner of the other guy's truck at maybe 5mph.
I wasn't driving into oncoming traffic, I was moving across it. right where it stops for a stop sign.

As a side note, that rain had been so bad there was a huge number of accidents and some news chopper was out filming it. They decided to hover over my accident like it was a big thing, So I flipped them off for a while, while I was waiting for the cop to finish writing everything up.
 
2013-07-26 03:38:30 PM

scandalrag: The precedent you are looking for is Wagner v. International Railway. Danger invites rescue. Been established law since the 1920's


I would think that any case based on Rescue Doctrine would fail because of the recklessness of the victims' actions during their attempt to rescue. It's common knowledge that approaching downed power lines -- or even a downed utility pole without obviously visible wires  -- surrounded by a  huge puddle of water is foolhardy in the extreme.

"An overwhelming weight of authority denies that voluntary incurrence of risk in effecting a rescue from danger occasioned by negligence amounts to contributory negligence, unless the act of intervention was performed under such circumstances as would make it rash or reckless in the estimation of ordinarily prudent persons."
-- Maryland Steel v Marney
 
2013-07-26 03:50:44 PM

JohnnyApocalypse: I followed the link provided in the first article to another with more info.
http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/tn-gnp-me-driver-can-be-tried- fo r-manslaughter-in-crash-that-caused-two-deaths-20130724,0,5985196.stor y

It seems that this happened at night. Being at night, the people involved may not have been able to see how the danger manifested. It wasn't a power line, it was a light pole. That means the electricity throughput came from a less visible source near the pole's base. The responders probably could see the water, but may have inferred that he had simply hit a pole.

It is beaten into some people's heads about downed power lines, but there were no power lines to worry about. Instead, it was from a relatively hidden source. People who want to help rush quickly to accidents, and it would take someone there to stop everyone and force them to look to check for that electric hazard.

By driving recklessly, the defendant set up an OBSCURED death trap. Did he mean to? No. That's why it's negligent manslaughter.

I was gonna jump on his reaction in the second article, but I followed up on google and see that he does express remorse, so he's not an utter tool. Just dumb.

Interestingly, he entered a plea of not guilty... last November. I guess it has taken this long for the trial to start.


It happened just as it started getting dark, but the shade from the trees that the driver ended up under probably made things look a lot darker.

Accident site:

i42.tinypic.com

i43.tinypic.com
 
2013-07-26 03:54:58 PM

JohnnyApocalypse: It seems that this happened at night. Being at night, the people involved may not have been able to see how the danger manifested. It wasn't a power line, it was a light pole. That means the electricity throughput came from a less visible source near the pole's base. The responders probably could see the water, but may have inferred that he had simply hit a pole.

It is beaten into some people's heads about downed power lines, but there were no power lines to worry about. Instead, it was from a relatively hidden source. People who want to help rush quickly to accidents, and it would take someone there to stop everyone and force them to look to check for that electric hazard.


This is a good point. Google maps has this:

www.photo-host.org

So yeah, most people have had it drilled into their heads not to go near power lines, or even broken/downed poles, but most wouldn't think twice about approaching an accident where that lightpost was knocked over.

I guess it'll be up to the jury to decide, ultimately.
 
2013-07-26 04:06:25 PM

ongbok: JustGetItRight: ongbok: And I agree with his lawyer on this when he said that they should have known the dangers of downed power lines. It is pounded in our heads over and over never to approach downed power lines.

People get tunnel vision.  Watching out for downed lines and other hazards are things beat into the heads of emergency responders in training and you've still got to watch out for someone focusing on the incident and not seeing that line laying in the street.

The average civilian's training is Louie the lightning bug.  He/she isn't likely to remember that in the heat of the moment.

People in my town must better trained than the average person. Last summer after a bad storm we had a downed power line on a fairly busy street. When that power line hit the ground the people cleared out like it was the plague. That street went from being filled with people to being completely empty in minutes and stayed empty until the power company came and cleared everything up.


It's the tunnel vision that gets them.  In your example, the storm damaged line was the central focus so everybody noticed it ran.  In this incident, the central focus was the car crash and the desire of the bystanders to check on the driver without checking for other threats.
 
2013-07-26 04:31:53 PM

Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.


Yes, but that's an excessive speed and/or reckless driving charge, not BAAAAWWWW DEAD PEOPLE SO MURDER CHARGES charge.

What kind of Darwin Award nominee sees downed power wires and steps in the nearby puddle?
 
2013-07-26 05:05:06 PM
Not everyone can be a George Zimmerman-esque hero. It's way vigilante heroes like Zimmerman shouldn't be looked to as role models.
 
2013-07-26 06:02:05 PM

Vector R: Bathia_Mapes: According to this article he was speeding and lost control, which is what caused him to slam into the light pole and fire hydrant.

So, not so much being charged for being stupid, but driving so fast that he lost control of his vehicle.

Yes, but that's an excessive speed and/or reckless driving charge, not BAAAAWWWW DEAD PEOPLE SO MURDER CHARGES charge.

What kind of Darwin Award nominee sees downed power wires and steps in the nearby puddle?


If you actually read the thread, there's a pretty clear explanation about the fact that there were no power lines or even utility poles. There're even pictures for the hard of thinking. If people die as a direct result of your reckless behavior, manslaughter charges are not inappropriate
 
2013-07-26 08:16:43 PM

The.anti-Larry: If it happened in Florida the driver could shoot the would-be rescuers and say that he felt threatened by them.




I don't think you can do that, if I understand the law properly.
 
2013-07-26 10:17:16 PM
img.youtube.com

Who wants a body massage?

/DNRTFA
//Drunk
///Apologies
 
2013-07-27 08:46:16 AM

slimkibbles: [img.youtube.com image 480x358]

Who wants a body massage?

/DNRTFA
//Drunk
///Apologies


Mr Body massage Machine-GO!
 
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