SUV driver talking on cell phone runs down and kills woman... not arrested!

Story here.


Is manslaughter not a crime anymore?

The hell?

I think it’s way too early for him to be arrested and charged yet, anyway. At this point, it’s a tragic accident. The police can’t arrest him without charges (at least, I don’t think they can), nor can they fling charges at him willy-nilly without having reviewed the evidence to determine what charges will be appropriate. Give it time, and see how it shakes out.

Well, the linked story does say that “Police were reviewing the case to see whether charges should be brought.”

I guess they just felt that there wasn’t much point in actually arresting him before making that determination .

While there’s little doubt in my mind that the guy did this accidentally, i really think that situations like this, in which people get killed as a result of negligence behind the wheel, the negligent party needs to suffer some considerable punishment.

It needs to be made clear that, if you do something while driving that is likely to distract you, and it does distract you, and you kill someone as a result, you will suffer the consequences.

Eh. WhenI had a non-fatal, no-one-injureed accident, they didn’t hesitate in the slightest to charge me on the spot. I don’t really buy that police would hold off from taking action while pondering imponderables.


“Why, why did this happen to me?” Chavez’s husband, Mario Maya, asked repeatedly as he waited inside the McDonald’s with his children while authorities investigated the site.

Happen to you? Your wife’s the one who’s dead, numbnuts. :rolleyes:

And no, I’m not willing to give him a pass on this because of his grief.

Yeah, I mean, how could he have any right to wonder what’s next for him? After all, he’s now a widower with two young children to take care of. Nothing traumatic happened to him. How selfish he is to think about what the future holds for him and his boys! Survivors aren’t allowed to do that!


Um, and he lost a wife. That has to suck some too.

Heck, she’s gone. What does SHE have to worry about anymore? He’s lost his wife and the mother of his children.

I’ve always felt sorrier for the people left behind when someone dies; being dead is easy. It *does * seem kind of odd that the husbasnd would voice this kind of sentiment out loud and so soon after the occurence, though.

What do you believe constitutes the crime of manslaughter?

Well, I totally am not a lawyer and have no legal background outside of random “Law & Order” viewing. But I’d assumed that when you’ve got a lot of people involved in a fatal accident (driver, victim, husband, kids and witnesses) you’d want to sort through some of the details to see what happened before clapping the driver in cuffs.

But then again, I live in St. Paul, where the police couldn’t be bothered to do any footwork whatsoever in tracking down the little punk who broke into my house and stole a bunch of stuff. Including my cellphone, which s/he used to make and receive dozens of calls before I had it shut off.

My guess is that the police are gathering the evidence of what factors where involved in the death (was the driver speeding, was the driver intoxicated, did the driver or the woman ignore traffic signs, is cell phone use illegal in this jurisdiction, etc). Then the district attorney will decide what level of crime was committed and the police will arrest the driver.

Are you fucking serious with this bullshit? Can you honestly not see that the entire family is traumatized and victimized in a case like this? What’s the husband supposed to do, shrug his shoulders and say, “well I’m glad it didn’t happen to ME?”

Well, then you have either never experienced acute grief at the loss of a loved one, or you have zero empathy for the fact that people process trauma individually. The man had just witnessed the violent death of his wife, seen his infant child bounce out of her arms as she was pinned under a vehicle, and had to comfort his other child who’d witnessed this as well… and you have the unmitigated gall to criticize his choice of wording.

Last time McDonald’s fucked up my order, I got a card for some free food. I think next time I’ll just kill somebody; that might show those monkey fucks inside the window that I’m serious when I say NO MUSTARD.

He probably pushed her. Seriously, what does this mean?

And another “Huh?” for silenus. If I had to witness the gruesome death of my child’s father in the presence of said child, I might be kind of upset about that, too. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true.

We don’t know that the woman didn’t do something that contributed to the accident, at least from the article we don’t. She could have stepped out in front of the SUV (possibly from behind the landscaping) and the driver had no time to react. When a pedestrian is killed in a fatal car accident, it’s not automatically the fault of the driver- pedestrians make mistakes, too, just like drivers.

To charge a driver with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide, it has to be proven that the driver was doing something wrong. Talking on a cell phone while driving isn’t illegal in a lot of places, so that doesn’t count.

The woman is a much more sympathetic character than the driver (pedestrian mother holding a baby vs SUV driver on a cell phone), but that doesn’t mean the driver is automatically guilty, or that it’s automatically not her fault. Of course, the driver could have been negligent. There’s not really enough evidence in the article to decide either way.

Well, technically it’s the unlawful taking of life without intention. A case like this would presumably fall into the category of involuntary manslaughter which would require a showing that a death resulted from some kind of illegal or negligent behavior on the part of the driver. It may be that talking on a cell phone is not illegal in this jurisdiction but doesn’t mean that prosecutor might not still determine that the driver was not in violation of some other statute or that he was reckless or that he was not exercising a minimum level of care while driving.

What is your point with this?

What does the SUV have to do with it? Would it be any less outrageous if the driver had killed the woman while on the phone behind the wheel of his Toyota Prius?

Amen to it not automatically being the fault of the driver (although I do tend to really, really dislike seeing near-accidents and finding that the driver is talking on a cell phone).

Sunday, while sitting in my car waiting for a parking space on the street, a young woman, while talking on a cell phone, almost walked out into oncoming traffic not once, but twice within five minutes.

I was thinkin’ that too! What gives?