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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grand jury: traffic tickets suffice in case of dead cyclist Trish Cunningham | Washington Post

Morgan Cunningham, daughter of Trish Cunningham, leads cyclists to the place where her mother died (file photo). (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)
Morgan Cunningham, daughter of Trish Cunningham, leads cyclists to the place where her mother died (file photo). (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)
An Anne Arundel County grand jury on Friday decided that traffic tickets — and not criminal charges — were the appropriate punishment for Whitney Decesaris, the driver of a minivan who overtook a bicyclist going uphill on a narrow two-lane road and slammed into her.
“The grand jury determined that there was no probable cause to charge the driver with Criminally Negligent Manslaughter, which would have required a finding that she drove in a manner that was a gross deviation of the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances,” said a six-paragraph statement issued by the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s office. “As a result of the grand jury’s decision, the Anne Arundel County police will issue negligent driving and related traffic offenses to the driver by citation.”
The four traffic citations — failure to exercise caution, driving left of the center line and unsafe passing, negligent driving and failure to control speed — each carries a maximum fine of $500. Decesaris can pay the $2,000 in fines or contest the citations in court.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seriously not trying to be snarky, but when does the phenomena of Ohio drivers running down cyclists, and "stand your ground" intersect?

Anonymous said...

I know we have our share of cyclists being run down by motorists but the above incident occurred in, I think, Maryland. The Washington Post article further noted:"Leitess’s spokeswoman, Heather Stone, also refused to answer when asked if political pressure had been exerted on Leitess from the well-connected family of the driver. Decesaris is part of a family that developed much of Prince George’s and southern Anne Arundel counties. The Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute at the Anne Arundel Medical Center is named for members of her family."

I think political influence kept local (Columbus) news outlets from naming for over a month the 36 year old woman who killed Bob Lennon in Delaware County. And Mr. Paul, the father of the woman charged escped any charges even though he likely destroyed evidence by throwing the windshield into a dumpster at his business before contacting the police.

It does seem if you want to kill someone and get away with murder, just run 'em down with your vehicle.

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