Our 18 year-old son Bryan's car was hit head-on and killed on June 12th, 1999 at 2:05 am., returning home after working the late shift at Menard's warehouse.
He had massive brain trauma and after 31 hours on a respirator was pronounced brain-dead.
The 24 year-old driver of the pick-up truck that crossed the center line was charged with improper lane usage.
He claims to have fallen asleep at the wheel. He refused to take a blood test and received a mandatory 6 month suspension of his driver's license and a traffic ticket for improper lane usage! This is the extent of legal punishment for this event. The death certificate states cause of death as "Reckless Homicide". This is only the coroner's findings and therefore carries no weight in the judicial system. How the coroner finds reckless homicide and the law only finds improper lane usage is still a mystery to us.
Please warn your teenagers and family members
that this can happen to anyone at any time! Drive Defensively!!
You or a loved one could be killed or seriously injured by someone on drugs, alcohol,
or just plain negligence by driving while extremely tired.
They could walk away with only a 6 month driver's license suspension ... OR LESS!.
Everybody seems to think there should be mandatory testing in accidents of this nature and yet, if the officer at the scene does not believe there is "Probable Cause", then the driver of the offending vehicle can refuse any blood tests and any other testing for alcohol or substance abuse. The fact that this person may have been impaired by drugs and/or other substances becomes irrelevant to the situation according to current laws.
We (and many others) believe this is a gross injustice to the victims and their families. We, as a society, need to have these laws changed to mandatory testing, especially in head-on and/or accidents with fatalities or serious injuries involved. We deserve (need?) to know if this person should have legally been driving in the first place.
We would appreciate your comments, suggestions, ideas and e-mail pertaining to this matter. You can help by calling your State Representatives and asking them to introduce new legislation and laws to correct this problem.
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