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I am so angry ... a drunken driving rant ... sentencing held

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rosie, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    A week ago today, a young relative of ours was killed in an alleged drunk driving crash. In this past week, I've run a gamut of emotion - from laughing at favorite memories to abject anger that a man with priors was allegedly stupid enough to get behind the wheel with this beautiful young woman as his passenger, then leave the scene.

    About a month or two ago, in my duties as cops and courts reporter, I covered the sentencing of a young man convicted of killing his best friend in a drunk driving crash. The death stabbed through two families and when he spoke, this man with four prior DWI convictions and on probation for the most recent one when the crash occurred, admitted he "didn't think it could happen to me."

    As jaded as I am in my job, never did I think this would happen to someone in my own family, and just a little while afterwards.

    If you think it won't happen to you, if you think you can beat the odds, I wish you could have been at the funeral Wednesday. I wish you could have seen the confusion on her little boys' faces. I wish you could have heard the gut-wrenching pleas, over and over, of "no, no, no" from her mother as the casket was rolled out of the church after the service. I wish you could have seen the tears streaming and gushing down my daughter's face as she watched the casket holding her "big cousin" placed into the hearse. I wish you could have felt the hug from her stepmother which threatened to break me in two, her face filled with pain.

    I wish you could have seen the grief in the face of her father, a man whom I'd never seen without a smile till that day.

    I wish you could have seen the shell-shocked look on her 16-year-old cousin's face as he served as one of the pallbearers - not yet comprehending that his birthday will now forever be known as the day she died.

    I wish you could have seen the sorrow on the State Trooper's face who my son and I ran into later that day as we stopped at a fast food place, nearly 100 miles away, before I brought him back to his summer job. As we waited for our food, we started talking Twins baseball and after my son mentioned something about the funeral, I briefly explained it was a drunk driving crash in the next county. Her face fell when she said she had been on the call that early morning.

    I wish you could have felt my exhaustion when I arrived back home Wednesday night on less than four hours of sleep and more than 540 miles on my truck that day to make sure my son could be at the funeral.

    Her uncle said after the funeral that being angry isn't going to help, it won't bring her back. And he's right. But I am angry. I'm angry that people still don't get it - that driving after drinking kills. I'm angry that I see, while doing my job, that plea agreements are too common and too many get off with a slap on the wrist. I'm angry that the alleged driver is sitting in the county jail - alive - while this beautiful, vivacious young woman is dead.

    I'm begging, I'm pleading. Please don't drink and drive!!!!!! Call a taxi, take the bus, walk, call a sober friend for a ride - heck, sleep in the back seat of your car! Just please, don't be selfish and think you can beat the odds.

    Eventually, you won't.
  2. printdust

    printdust New Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    It only takes one slip in judgment. One drink, to go over the limit.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    Can't be said enough.

    It's just not worth the risk.

    Walk, take a cab, give the keys up, or just don't drink.

    There are plenty of other options.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    I'm sorry for your loss, Rosie.

    And you're right about the plea bargains. Time was, a plea bargain was used if there was a difficult chance of a conviction. Now, they're used left and right, just to avoid trials because they would take too much time.

    But here's the thing about DUIs. The drunk driver takes a breathalyzer. It spells out how much they've drank. Why, with that amount of evidence to convict, do prosecutors continue to offer plea bargains?
  5. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    I'm very sorry for your loss, Rosie.

    My sincere condolences.
  6. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    Rosie, i'm so sorry for your loss.

    but please turn the anger into something positive. Nothing you can do will bring her back, but you can do everything within your power to spread the message and hold others accountable. The power of the press and the power of the people are both wonderful things. Find a way to make something good happen in the future and make your family proud and make sure your niece is never ever forgotten.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    Works for me. Wish I wasn't in the extreme minority.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    When I went out Friday night to celebrate my birthday (which was Saturday), I slept in the back seat of my car until I was ready to go home.

    Last night when I went out, I deliberately walked and took the bus so I would take a cab home. Didn't want to take any chances. It's just not worth it.
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    I hope all the drivers who commit these kind of crimes suffer horrifying, lingering deaths.
  10. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    They don't. Only their victims, and their survivors, do.
  11. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    Rosie, thank you for writing this - even amid the horrible, horrible stretch all of you have gone through.

    I don't worry about my children - but I worry about the idiots around them.
  12. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Re: I am so angry ...

    And just after I read this I read on the Star Tribune website about a crash in southern Minnesota that killed four people in their 20s and a fifth is in critical. A car with them in it hit a semi. An open bottle of liquor was found in the car, though they haven't done the tests yet to see if the driver was drinking. Minnesota's had numerous horrific accidents already this year involving drinking and driving, most of which have involved young people.
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