43
   

I just don’t understand drinking and driving

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 02:40 am
Quote:
ST. PETERSBURG - A St. Petersburg man was arrested in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash early Friday morning.

Officers arrested 44-year-old Thom Brian Swift. They say he was driving east along 5th Avenue North around 2:15 a.m. when he hit a bicyclist.

Police say the bicyclist, 47-year-old Barry Lancaster, hit the windshield of Swift's car, then landed in the roadway.

Lancaster was taken to Bayfront Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Police said they believed Lancaster was homeless.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, Swift failed to stop, and drove to his residence a block and a half away.

Police said that's where they made contact with Swift, but they did not say what led them to him, or how long after the crash they contacted him.

Officers said Swift told them he knew he had been in a crash.

"He admitted to officers that he knew he was involved in a crash with what he believed to be a pedestrian and he fled the scene," the St. Petersburg Police Department said in a media release.

Swift has been charged with DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident involving death, according to the media release.

He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office website was down Friday afternoon, so Swift's booking photo and bond status were not immediately available.

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/local/pinellas/st.-pete-man-arrested-after-fatal-crash-12232011

Of course police are not going to talk about that, as we know that would weaken the story line that the accused is a horrible person. We are also not going to talk about whether this homeless person riding a bike at 215am was using reasonable warning lights so that motorists might see him, nor how much crap he was carrying on said bike an whether this likely made his driving reckless.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 02:44 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I got it that he fled, big no no, and while fleeing, did not give aid


We know that the flight lasted a whole 1.5 blocks, and that he might have rather immediately called the cops to turn himself in, but I dont figure that will matter, this is Florida after all.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 02:49 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I'm more interested in how the guy was hit.
Seems like alcohol with the driver, just wondering if it was not also with the cyclist.

Even if the cyclist was intoxicated, I'm not sure it would diminish this man's criminal responsibility if he was, in fact, also intoxicated. Only one of them was operating a motor vehicle. And, if he was operating that motor vehicle while intoxicated...and the cyclist's cause of death were injuries sustained in the accident...I'm not sure it matters who caused the accident in terms of the criminal charges against the driver.

If the cyclist was also intoxicated it might lessen the driver's civil liability if someone, like a relative, brought an action, like a wrongful death action, on behalf of the cyclist's estate. But, I'm just guessing.

I don't think you can figure out what happened from the little info we have, osso.
OmSigDAVID
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 02:56 am
@firefly,
DAVID wrote:
I wonder if defendant can successfully apply this subsection
in exculpation of his departure from the scene.
firefly wrote:
I don't think so, because he failed to do this..."after fulfilling all other requirements of s. 316.027 and subsection (1), insofar as possible on his or her part to be performed"---that's the duty to render aid or summon aid for the injured victim, and he apparently did not do that at the scene.
What aid is necessary, if he were dead??
Defendant went home n called the police.
Maybe, being upset, he began to drink, to quiet his nerves.


firefly wrote:
According to the newspaper report, he admitted to police he fled the scene.[After Miranda??]
There r Egyptian mummies who may even now not have been declared dead, but . . . u know . . .

firefly wrote:
This is the record of his arrest, with his booking photo, from the Sheriff's Web site. It shows the arrest charges.
http://pcsoweb.com/InmateBooking/SubjectResults.aspx?id=1483326
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:10 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
What aid is necessary, if he were dead??

Apparently the man wasn't pronounced dead at the scene. So he might have been alive immediately after the accident.
And, if he was dead, I don't think you are supposed to leave a dead body in the street and go home to call the police.
Quote:
Defendant went home n called the police.

He was supposed to call for help and remain at the scene We don't know how long it took him before he called the police.
Quote:
According to the newspaper report, he admitted to police he fled the scene.[After Miranda??]

Probably before Miranda--likely either when he called the police, or when they showed up at his house, he told them he thought he hit someone and he fled the scene. They wouldn't have read him his rights until they arrested him.




ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:15 am
@firefly,
I'm not about the criminal charges or the cyclist's estate or liability - I'm trying to figure out what happened, how hard is that to talk about?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:15 am
@firefly,

Quote:
What aid is necessary, if he were dead??
firefly wrote:

Apparently the man wasn't pronounced dead at the scene. So he might have been alive immediately after the accident.
And, if he was dead, I don't think you are supposed to leave a dead body in the street and go home to call the police.
Quote:
Defendant went home n called the police.

He was supposed to call for help and remain at the scene
One may well exclude the other possibility;
i.e., arguing that going home was necessary to calling them.


0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:17 am
We should certainly question the wisdom of actively trying to put bikes in the hands of a population that tends to suffer from mental issues and addiction issues. We also should wonder if the local police are taking these bikes away from the homeless who use them irresponsibly, my guess is that the answer is no, that unsafe homeless riding around the streets at night is in part a product of do-gooderism gone bad.

Quote:
It's a rainy afternoon when I visit William Shumate at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. It's a crappy day to go bicycling, but an even worse day to be out walking.

That's why Mad Dog, a homeless man who frequents downtown, has arrived at the Free Clinic to drop off his bicycle. The brakes are shot, he explains to Shumate, and he has an appointment later in the day.

Shumate, better known as "Pops" to St. Pete's homeless citizens, takes the purple 12-speed and heads up to his makeshift bike shop on the Free Clinic's third floor. It's a large loft-like space full of old wheelchairs, walkers and bicycles in various states of disrepair.

"If I get parts for all these, I'd be a happy man," says Shumate, adjusting his baseball cap with greasy, calloused hands.

For the last three years, Shumate has been something of a freelance bike mechanic for St. Pete's homeless. He began in Williams Park with just a pair of channel locks, vice grips and a No. 10 wrench, repairing bikes for free or a pack of cigarettes. Two months ago, a city official who had witnessed Shumate fixing bikes on the steps of City Hall suggested he find a more permanent space. She brought him to the Free Clinic on Eighth Avenue North near MLK, where Executive Director Janet Egbert offered him the unused third-floor loft.

Shumate jumped at the opportunity. Though he still works for free, Shumate, who used to operate a for-profit bike shop out of his Gulfport garage in the '80s, is happy to help even more of the homeless population.

To the average person, bicycles may seem like a luxury. But to the homeless, bikes are as important as bedrolls. Maybe more so. (And not just for escaping tent-slashing cops.)

May is Bike Month, and homeless advocates want the public to know bicycles are not a want, but a need. In the last six months, two Pinellas County programs have been created to address this need.

"A lot of folks that come to us have no transportation at all," says Victor Ulmer of the Homeless Emergency Project's new Freewheel program in Clearwater. "I mean nothing."

http://cltampa.com/tampa/bicyclesfreedom/Content?oid=2031251
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:19 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I'm trying to figure out what happened, how hard is that to talk about?

It's very hard to talk about when we have no idea what happened between the car and the man on the bike that caused them to collide.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:20 am
@firefly,
Call for help? Not everyone has a paid up cell phone.
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:24 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
t unsafe homeless riding around the streets at night is in part a product of do-gooderism gone bad

Unsafe drunk drivers are a much more serious problem--a car is a lethal weapon.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:26 am
@ossobuco,
I sound like I'm all for the driver, which I'm not. I don't know enough.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:28 am
@firefly,
Apparently easy though to slam the driver.
Not that I disagree, just that I want to hear more.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 03:28 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Call for help? Not everyone has a paid up cell phone.

So, you scream for help, or run to the nearest house or store. You don't go home and leave someone dying in the street when you've just hit them with your car.

Somehow, I think if you're driving a 2010 Acura, you're likely to have some kind of cell phone.
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 04:03 am
@firefly,
If your home was a block and a half away you might go there in such stress.
Not that he should have, but that it is understandable as a human thing to do.

Well, we'll hear more.
I could paint this guy as a major dick, but not totally sure.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 06:07 am
@ossobuco,
Maybe he went home, called the police, and drank a pint of Jim Beam to steady his nerves - before the police arrived, of course. Ready made excuse to leave the scene, and accounts for blood alcohol content.
0 Replies
 
MMarciano
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 06:10 am
@ossobuco,
The popular club in town is Georgie’s Alibi. The guys complain because the police park out front waiting for someone to get in their car and drive. Sometimes a police officer will be standing in the parking lot watching. I don’t have a problem with that. Maybe someone will think twice, should I get in my car and drive or leave it and take the taxi.
izzythepush
 
  4  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 07:27 am
@MMarciano,
Whether or not the victim had also been drinking is a side issue. If your friend had been sober when the accident occured, not panicked and called the police/ambulance right away this would have been a very different story. If you drink and drive, you've only got yourself to blame, and at 44 he doesn't even have the naivete of youth to excuse his actions.

Many years ago I was driving down an unlit country road in the dark having consumed a pint of beer. When I turned a corner, I came across someone walking down the middle of the road, dressed in black with his back to me. I saw him in time and swerved out of the way. Since then I don't drink anything at all and drive. Had I hit him, he would probably have been to blame, but the fact that I'd had a drink, even though I was well under the legal limit, would probably have resulted in me receiving some form of penalty. Now, if I'm going to have a drink, I walk, catch a taxi or a bus, or just stay in. It's just not worth the risk.
MMarciano
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 08:17 am
@izzythepush,
I know Thom was at Georgie’s Alibi that night and the crazy thing is he lives just five blocks from the bar!
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Dec, 2011 08:23 am
@MMarciano,
I don't understand that mindset either. I have a friend who drinks and leaves, in the belief that he'll have driven home before he's over the limit. I know someone else who carries out an arithmetical calculation each time he has a drink. He works out how much time he has before he has to drive, and how long the body takes to detoxify. They've both been done for drink driving.
0 Replies
 
 

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