Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

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Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby Scotty » July 19th, 2011, 8:18 am

you think it's bad out there for cyclists? A woman in atlanta was charged and convicted of vehicular homocide when her 4 year old son was run over by a drunk driver. The mothe was crossing the street with her son when he stepped in front of a car.

http://t4america.org/blog/2011/07/18/pr ... petrators/

Nelson, 30 and African-American, was convicted on the charge this week by six jurors who were not her peers: All were middle-class whites, and none had ever taken a bus in metro Atlanta. In other words, none had ever been in Nelson’s shoes:

They had never taken two buses to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart with three kids in tow. They had never missed a transfer on the way home that caused them to wait a full hour-and-a-half with tired and hungry kids for the next bus. They had never been let off at a bus stop on a five-lane speedway, with their apartment in sight across the road, and been asked to drag those three little ones an additional half-mile-plus down the road to the nearest traffic signal and back in order to get home at last.

And they had never lost control of an over-eager four-year-old as they waited on a three-foot median for a car to pass. Nor had they watched helplessly as a driver who had had “three or four” beers and two painkillers barreled toward their child.

That’s right: Because Nelson did not lug her exhausted little ones three-tenths of a mile from the bus stop to a traffic signal in order to cross five lanes of traffic, she is guilty of vehicular manslaughter. Because she did as her fellow bus riders, who crossed at the same time and place, and because she did what pedestrians will do every time – take the shortest reasonable path – she is guilty of vehicular manslaughter.


the laws in this country are a joke. if you want to kill someone, use a car.

“The Atlanta region has a plan to spend billions of federal and state dollars on projects that shave one or two minutes off a 30-minute driving commute,” said Sally Flocks, the executive director of a pedestrian safety group in Atlanta, who closely followed the trial. “But we think nothing of expecting transit riders and pedestrians to spend another 20 minutes walking out of their way.”

As a friend said, the prosecutors “stuck a knife in a grieving mother and twisted it.” Now she’s awaiting sentencing of up to 36 months in jail and working desperately to make provisions for her kids, should she be sent away. Prosecuting people like Raquel Nelson, who truly are the victims of poor planning and bad design, is like closing the door of the proverbial barn and then burning it down. One well-marked crosswalk would save more lives, and in all likelihood it would cost less than this malicious prosecution cost the taxpayers of Georgia.
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Re: Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby deezler » August 3rd, 2011, 10:41 am

Yes this story is really tragic and frustrating. The prosecutor bringing this charge must be such a pathetic piece of cr@p.

Jay walking should be avoided whenever possible, but it is not a crime, IMO. People on foot or on human powered vehicles should have permanent right of way over 2 tons of poorly controlled steel with 300 HP under the hood. I just cannot wait for $10/gallon gasoline.... that will solve so many of our problems with the roadways by reducing traffic.
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Re: Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby Wolverine » August 4th, 2011, 11:04 am

Do you really think it was wise of her to attempt crossing a 5 lane road without a crosswalk in the dark, with 3 small children?!? Clearly she used poor judgement. She was wrong, the drunk driver was inexcusably wrong :evil: and in the end her 4 year old paid the price. What an awful situation all the way around.

And before you jump all over me, yes, I DO routinely drag 3 small children (ages 8, 4 and 4) an extra 1/2 mile to cross a 5 lane road at a crosswalk.
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Re: Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby plunderspunk » August 5th, 2011, 7:24 am

Really sad...I have to agree with wolverine angie, and that bus stop looks like it was placed there by someone working for Darwin...
that being said, no excuse to be behind the wheel of that car. would like to know what happened to the man driving. Maybe the judge will realize that she has a couple other kids and putting her in jail only piles insult upon injury. Perhaps the brilliant city planners who placed a bus stop there instead of on the residential side of the road should also be penalized... :shock:
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Re: Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby SteveF » August 5th, 2011, 8:03 am

It's funny that the remorse of the driver who's hit someone is often taken into consideration "punishment enough," but a mother who's lost a child due to a moment's poor decision is facing jail time...

...the auto-centric bias in this country sickens me.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced.
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Re: Pedestrian convicted of vehiclular homocide!

Postby scat silvurz » August 5th, 2011, 2:46 pm

I wonder when the first court case will hit the Ann Arbor Snooze - that stupid new law that says a vehicle must stop if someone appears to want to cross the street at a crosswalk where there is no traffic signal [think of the cross walk on Plymouth Rd in A2 right by the Islamic Center/North Campus]. Five lanes of traffic! - and if you see someone who telepathically tells you that they are considering crossing the street there, you're supposed to stop. And probably have 3 cars smash into you, and probably end up killing a bunch of people [and yourself] in the process.

Poor urban planning goes both ways. This unfortunate mother made some bad decisions and also had incredibly bad luck. Those combinations are often deadly. Jesus musta been eatin' a Hot Pocket when that kid got run over - can't be everywhere!..... Sometimes life just bends ya over and, well, you know.....
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