Diary (12) "DWI, killed a kid, but Police say "driver wasn’t in the wrong in crash"!??

Posted on May 17, 2009

Diary (12) Sunday, May 17, 2009

DWI, KILLED A KID, BUT POLICE SAY DRIVER "WASN’T IN THE WRONG IN THE CRASH"!??

Occasionally you read something in the newspaper, and it makes you despair.
Human life is worth less and less each day.
Sometimes you feel you could weep for the future of compassion amongst the human race. If you are a writer, or a scribbler, as I prefer to call myself, you take it out on the keypad. Poor old Hewlet Packard have no idea of the raw physical abuse this laptop has received from me. If they did, they’d be proud. They would point to me in their advertisements, and note that their ‘HP Pavilion’ model, several years old now, by no means new, has withstood being pummeled for thousands of hours. Occasionally, like today, in a futile, cold rage. And once again, this keyboard withstood the test. And performed well.

Pity I can’t say the same for common sense, human compassion, the art of caring, or Trooper David Anderson, described by "The Daily Advertiser" as the "spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop 1". Who appointed this dude spokesman for Louisiana State Police troop 1? What kind of message is this gentleman sending out? Does he speak for the department’s attitude and philosophy? There are a bunch of habitual criminal risk takers out there (and their lawyers) who are gonna absolutely LOVE what Trooper David Anderson has to say on the subject of drunk driving…
And there are also a bunch of pedestrians, cyclists, teenagers, children, and other living creatures out there, who had better sit up and take notice of the way Louisiana State Police -so we read- administer justice…

The headline reads: "Crash kills teen; 1 hurt". Somewhere, a family is mourning the loss of a loved one, a young life just stepping out in the adventure of the Great Wide World..
It appears that at 9.20 pm, on Thursday, May 14 2009, after dark, two bicyclists were pedaling their way down LA 679.
One does not know what kind of ambient lighting was available. Streetlights, house lights, whatever.
They were riding northbound in the southbound lane. Presumably they were worried -with good reason- about being run over from behind by careless motorists. It shows that they were at least thinking defensively. One was 17 and one was 15. I wonder if they had lights. I doubt it. If they did, that would be almost a first. Putting a light on a bicycle at night in Louisiana? Whoever heard of such a thing.
Along comes Danielle B., 24, of Saint Martinville. DWI. Drunk. You know, the type that thinks: "I know I’ve had too much too drink. But I’m gonna drive anyway. So what if I’m taking chances with my life. And everybody else’s. I don’t care. I’m just gonnna do it. If they can’t take a joke, well, f****k ’em."
The inevitable tragedy takes place. She decides to overtake. DWI and all. Here we go. I wonder what speed the vehicle that she overtook was doing. I wonder what speed she was doing. We will probably never know, unless the driver she was overtaking gives evidence. Anyway, during this DWI overtaking missy Danielle (drunk) splatters a kid on a bicycle. Kills him. Another tragedy on the road. Another death. Another life torn away. More tears.

I would have left the story there, sadly shaking my head, reminding myself again that if I ever have the urge to drink and drive, I will prove myself to be a monster. I’m older. I know better. Human being or no, I have NO RIGHT to play Russian Roulette with my life. Or other people’s lives. I would have folded the paper, and quietly put it away, but for the amazing -stunning- corollary. I don’t know if Trooper David Anderson really meant the words that he spoke. I want to think perhaps reporter Amanda McElfresh is mis-quoting him, or taking his words out of context, or something.
Tell me it ain’t so…?
How-ever…. this is what I actually read in the ‘Daily Advertiser’ on Saturday (May 16).
Trooper David Anderson, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop 1, said Danielle Bienvenu is not facing additional charges because authorities believe she was not at fault in the crash, even though alcohol was involved.
"She wasn’t in the wrong in the crash. The kids were in the wrong lane," Anderson said."She was passing. She was within the law. The only thing breaking the law was the fact that she was impaired."

Now hold it right there, mister. Just hold it right there for one cotton pickin’ second.
1) The ONLY thing?? She was DWI. Drunk. Tipsy. Half seas over. Impaired. Sloshed. Call it what you want.
I can’t believe I’m even having to spell this out! But here goes. It seems -incredibly- it IS necessary.
*** How do we know what effect that had on her reactions?
*** Her vision?
*** Her braking distance?
*** Her ability to maybe swerve and avoid?
*** Her sighting of a reflection?
*** Her ability to avoid killing that kid??
You mean there was nothing reflective on that bicycle that might have caught the light? No decals, stickers? Nothing reflective on the kid’s clothing? Zero ambient light from nearby houses? What was he, a black kid, wearing black jeans, black sneakers, a black t-shirt, and a black bandanna?? Were his wheels painted black? Are you saying if I had been there, I would have done the same thing? Killed that kid? Are you saying that there was nothing, absolutely nothing that would have alerted me to an object on the road? Are you saying I would have not been able to swerve, brake, avoid, do something? Are you saying ALL average sober drivers would not have had a much better chance at avoiding killing another human being?
Poppycock.
2) They were KIDS, for flip sake. Kids do that sort of stuff. Ride bicycles at weird times of the day and night, in weird places. Adults do it. Nuns do it. People who like the hula-hoop do it. Anybody who has driven for more than a few weeks at most, will have encountered the oddest obstacles at night. Bicycles. MANY of which will be riding in the opposite lane, because they are scared of traffic coming up behind. Cows. Drunken pedestrians. Unlit parked cars. Unlit semi trailers. Potholes you could lose a Hummer in. All kinds of weird stuff. I met a galloping horse on the road one dark foggy evening. I was on a motorcycle. I thought I was dreaming. But no, here comes a horse, right at me, wide-eyed, going like the clappers. I swerved, braked, panicked, yelled, freaked out, but I missed that flaming nag. My point is this: you can’t just blithely adopt an attitude that it was her right to overtake, DWI/drunk and all, and anything that happened to get in the way, living or dead, well, that would be THEIR fault. Tough cheddar.
3) Whatever happened to driving with due care and attention?
How can you possibly separate her state of legal intoxication from what the tragic outcome was?
That one just blows my mind. Well, yes, we hear Trooper Anderson saying, yes she was DWI, legally drunk, but that had nothing to do with the accident??? Nothing at all. It was all the kids’ fault. Hell, the stupid kids were in the wrong lane! Gimme a break, bicyclists do that all the time. It’s wrong, but can you blame them? With the amount of people like this young lady driving drunk, it has got to be a scary experience hearing traffic coming up behind, wondering if they have seen you, and what their blood alcohol content is likely to be. And what their blurred vision, and their reduced reactions, have in store for you when they finally reach that small space of the road occupied by you on your flimsy bicycle.
How can you possibly separate her state of legal intoxication from what the tragic outcome was?
4) Trooper Anderson, on behalf of Louisiana State Police Troop 1, has handed defense attorneys everywhere a precious, golden gift. I can just see the defenses for DWI everywhere, standing in court, their mock solemn expressions, their sickening, feigned sincerity, addressing the judge and the hushed court room:
"Your Honor, my client deeply regrets the unfortunate tragedy of the death of young Alec LeBlanc. Deeply. It is a heart rending tragedy. A real misfortune. And our deepest, deepest sympathies go out to the family….."
(pause, shaking of head, allow the deep sense of loss and sadness to sink in)
(with a bit of luck, there might be a sob heard somewhere at this stage)
"How-ever, your Honor, we are forced to face the facts. Trooper Anderson of Louisiana State Police Troop 1, has summed the situation up very well when he explained, in response to questions, as follows:
" Danielle Bienvenu is not facing additional charges because authorities believe she was not at fault in the crash, even though alcohol was involved. She wasn’t in the wrong in the crash. The kids were in the wrong lane. She was passing. She was within the law. The only thing breaking the law was the fact that she was impaired."
(pause, for dramatic effect, let the wise Trooper’s words sink in)
(hopefully nobody sobs at this moment)
"Therefore, your Honor, we must respectfully ask that our client’s charges be reduced to simple first offense DWI, with no further charges brought…."
Simple. First offense. Never done it before. Simple…
Slap on the wrist??
5) No, we cannot prove that if she had been sober, that she would have avoided killing the kid. But do we really have to go the lengths of proving that if she had been sober, that then she would have had a much better shot at it? And that the poor kid would have had a much better chance at being alive today?
We can do that. Trot out any number of studies that show alcohol, even in small quantities, never mind DWI quantities, reduces vision, reaction time, judgment, and distorts the drinker’s interaction with his or her environment? Adds a greater sense of invulnerability? Do we really, really, have to spell it out?

Conclusion:

A) If there is any justice left, any regard for human life, any common sense, any regard left for that dead kid: then somewhere, some attorney, some idealist with a sense of civic pride, needs to stand up and SUE the living daylights out of that DWI driver for wrongful death. Criminal recklessness. Endangerment. Whatever the fancy legal phrase is…
How can you possibly separate her state of legal intoxication from what the tragic outcome was?
B) If this is left undisturbed, then human life is devalued further. In that case, the DWI driver needs to finish the tragi-comedy off, by suing the parents of dead teenager for the damage occurred to her fender. Or better still, for emotional damages incurred due to the trauma of that stupid kid getting in her way whilst she was ‘exercising her right’ to overtake.
Excuse me: Does that mean she had a right to overtake DWI??
C) I would personally happily pony up $100 towards a legal fund to fight this law suit.
We need to fight these drunk drivers, or else resign ourselves to more of these tragedies. It could be you. Or your family.
Contact me at francismeyrick@yahoo.com

Remember: How can you possibly, conveniently, legally, morally, emotionally, separate her state of legal intoxication from what the tragic outcome was?

There was a case a short while back of a mother and a daughter slaughtered by an unlicensed, thuggish, crazed, habitual DWI driver, who had caused a whole spate of DWI accidents, with a special penchant for crossing -drunk- onto the opposite carriageway.
It was amazing to me how inept the State’s prosecution was. They lost case notes, resulting in charges being dropped, they ignored his repeated non-appearances to face charges. Basically he was a drunken maniac on the road, looking for the next moment in time to inflict his Neanderthal uncaring cruelty on some hapless victim. The public outrage -what we saw in print- was muted. Situation normal….??
I was sorely tempted to go into print, but I didn’t.
Now this. We are going a step further. Not only is State Police showing themselves insensitive, and out of touch with public horror at DWI carnage, they are handing DWI defense attorneys everywhere a golden gift on a platter.
I say again:
How can you possibly, conveniently, legally, morally, emotionally, separate her state of legal intoxication from what the tragic outcome was?

Francis Meyrick

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on May 18, 2009, 7:01 am


0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

1 response to Diary (12) "DWI, killed a kid, but Police say "driver wasn’t in the wrong in crash"!??

  1. I do so love the smell of napalm…on a Sunday morning!

    You flayed, flogged, flailed and excoriated the very flesh from drunken drivers and a legal system that wipes the blood of their victims from them but not from our memories. You exposed the hollows in the legal system where justice used to reside.

    I have visions in my head of a light descending from the sky and coming to rest upon these offending parties – causing them to quake in fear – and I hear Wagner blaring triumphantly in the background! God, it takes my breath away.

    This avenger might not be an angel, but by all that’s holy, he is righteous! This sparkles!

    Brava! Bravo! Bravissimo!

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.