Author Topic: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this  (Read 5174 times)

Concerned

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Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« on: June 28, 2014, 01:43:19 PM »
Have you guys heard this story?  Emma, 25-year-old animal lover, stopped her car to help a group of ducklings cross the road, but unfortunately a guy on his motorcycle, 50, and his daughter, 16, didn't pay attention or something, and hit the rear end of the car. So Emma received two counts of criminal negligence causing death (maximum life sentence) and two counts of dangerous driving causing death (maximum of 14 years)? 

First, why two sets of charges? But, mostly how in the world - when we see so many horrific intentional deaths that don't get sentenced -  are we spending the time, money and sentence on a girl's act of humanity? Surely, isn't our time better spent on ensuring the criminals with intent get the sentences? I'm thinking, the doctor that stabbed his children over 50 times, the bus traveler that ate his passenger alive, the people responsible for the deaths of a beautiful teen who was in the woods partying with friends, and the son of the priest/ex-police officer that kills, then kills again and gets no sentence?  Do I have to list more?  What am I missing?

I'm not saying that the lives of the motorcyclists are not worth something, but isn't this a tragic accident not an intentional criminal act that caused death? No matter what the system does to Emma, she already has a life sentence of having witnessed the accident that killed two people. And, to what degree does the motorcyclist have in controlling his path and his ability to stop, and how far he should stay behind a moving vehicle? Did she actually cause the fatal crash, or did the motorist behind her have some responsibility in all this?

Source:  Canadian woman who stopped car to help ducks faces life in jail after causing fatal crash, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/canada/10916470/Canadian-woman-who-stopped-car-to-help-ducks-faces-life-in-jail-after-causing-fatal-crash.html.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 10:17:58 AM by Concerned »

scotsquine

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 02:57:11 AM »
I totally agree with you Concerned. The poor girl will have to live with the fact of what happened for the rest of her life. Such a tragic accident, my heart goes out to the other family involved here too.

SAP

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 11:03:10 AM »
I wonder if the lady's lawyer can get somewhere on the fact of "defensive" driving. The cyclist speeding along should have been aware how fast he was closing in on the vehicle ahead and should have been prepared to slow and stop too. That is a normal reaction for anyone driving the highways. It is sad that the other family lost 2 members that day but revenge won't bring them back. Nailing the lady to the cross seems to be revenge imo.


Logical

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 04:57:12 PM »
I disagree, the police, then prosecutors saw evidence of a criminal act, the Twelve jurors agreed that her actions were criminal in nature. On all charges - two of each charge, because two deaths and two charges in case she was found not guilty of one of them.

She stopped her car IN the fast lane of a highway, yes other cars made it past and the motorcycle did not, I have seen many times where cars will switch lanes quickly without braking and then you have a car stopping or stopped in front of you with little time to react. And a motorcycle with passenger is not as easy to swerve and control.

She stopped to rescue these ducks, to take them home. Think about it, how fast are you driving on a hwy, how close before you see ducks on the side of the hwy, did she slam on her brakes and get out to chase / help little ducks with no regard to the traffic behind her, did she feel the lives of these ducks were more important, she could have moved her car OUT of the fast lane and on the side of the hwy. seriously who parks a car in the fast lane on a hwy? Even if it was partcially in the road, who does that, not someone thinking of others safety, It is plausible that she left the car in the road on purpose to hide the ducks from the traffic, that would mean intent and be a criminal act.  The jury was asked to decide on criminal laws, they had enough evidence to convict on facts not emotion, let's see what her sentence is once they allow the emotions to be considered.

When I read the post suggesting the motorcyclist maybe should take blame and that his driving may have killed them, wow, I have read many media articles on this story since 2010 from local reporting and never heard that, hope no family member reads it, to come to a woman's defence because she seems caring and loving of animals, know nothing more than the victim drives a motorcycle and it must have been his fault. Wow! No words to express how disappointing it was to read, and I do not know the family.

Logical




SAP

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 11:30:42 PM »
I'm thinking you might be meaning me Logical. I am not blaming the cyclist; just questioning defensive driving. When driving, I can control my reactions as to what happens ahead of me much better than what happens behind me. True, the lady driving in the inner lane should not have stopped in her tracks if it was unsafe to do so. In a moment she could have checked her rear view mirror and perhaps she failed to do so b/c of her feelings for the little ducks. Defensive driving is for everyone ... to be watchful and prepared to stop any action that would/could cause an accident.
The irony of it all ... look how easy Karla Homolka got off and compare her crimes to this crime. This lady will have more jail time than Karla and more than rapist/murderers often get.

I found myself in a situation on a busy highway ... many large fast moving trucks ... and I was in the outer lane. Well ahead I saw a mother duck taking her little ones across the highway. She was almost to the middle when a big semi blew past me. The ducklings were blown about and the mother was confused running this way and that and there were more trucks coming. I quickly checked and moved onto the shoulder and stopped and so did the 2 other people behind me. Luckily she didn't lose any and they got together and the three of us that stopped herded them across to safety. While it might seem that one has to be close in order to see them, not so. All three of us were able to stop well before the ducks.

Logical

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 06:58:54 AM »
Thanks SAP, I do agree with you about safe and defensive driving and how fast things happen on hwys, but we and I say we because I am sure I have done it as well, sometimes read an article and we form an opinion, we try to analyze the details and then we think and ask questions of how or why.

But this case we are only talking about after all the trial and 3 yrs of media. The article first posted here was one article and made no reference to the motorcycle being in error so I do not know why after the fact we would suggest such a thing, I know we use our own experience in our mind to try to figure out how that could happen but I think you and I have been driving for many more years than a 25 yr old ( I've been driving more than 25 yrs now myself). 

It is sad that this woman will pay such a high penalty but she broke our laws and 2 people died as a result and the laws that she broke have a severe penalty to face.  Yes KH got a reduced sentence, but they thought they needed her to get PB off the streets for good. Totally different situation, they had enough witnesses to the car accident and did not need to have anyone else criminally responsible to turn on her.

I personally think her attitude that she was not really at fault because she is so caring about the ducks and animals and a really nice person that it was just an accident only nothing criminal that the jurors felt she was self absorbed and not willing to realize she made an error in judgement.

At the end of the day the jurors decided she broke those laws, nothing to do with ducks or why she stopped, that is really just information for our emotional side, not the facts, fact is she stopped her car on a open road and endangered others and as a result death occurred.

We as humans really have issues, we agree with most laws and the penalty to be paid for breaking those laws, we do not include the why and emotional feelings involved, is it homicide, murder, negligence, those would be the charges and all have a set max penalty, yet we have these few cases where we feel the penalty is not fair, but the charge is the same as any other murderer etc. so why is it ok for others who were negligent to pay the full penalty and not this girl?  Do you think the max terms should be dropped?

I believe the emotional side is allowed and brought in at penalty phase because the trial was all about the facts of the situation and not about the defendant in a good light, this will be her chance to convince the judge to go soft on her. This is the way the system works and makes it fair for all found guilty of any charge and why they have a min and max for sentencing.

Logical

supernatural

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 08:22:57 AM »
I am going to ask some crazy questions here and maybe be a devils advocate.  This whole story has really made me think of whats going on with the prosecuters here. 
I  believe they are just trying to send a clear message to not stop in the middle of a busy freeway for anything.  Its just too dangerous for everyone.  Will anything happen to her?  not likely, except retaking of a drivers education course and maybe a year of probation.   After all there was no malicious intent.
 
What would this story be if there were no ducks and her car just stopped and couldn't move it out of the way?  Someone crashes into her and its a horrible accident....the end.

What if it was a Deer or other large animal that you had to let cross the highway and you would be causing injury to yourself if you did not stop to let it pass.  Now someone crashes into?  Are you at fault for the deer being there?  Its hard to let the law decide when and where w can or cannot stop.  All drivers training courses state we have to be so many car lengths apart from the person ahead of us so we have enough time to react to changes in speed/stopping.

Would this be a completely different story if she had to police and told them her car just died in the middle of the highway?

In my opinion she should get 2 years probation including classes on decision making  and drivers license revoked.  She will have to live with the fact her decision to stop in the middle of the highway caused two deaths.  Hopefully that guilt will help her on the way to being a wiser person.

Whole story is a tragedy.  My thoughts go out to the family of the 2 victims.

**edited to remove inappropriate comment.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:49:13 AM by debbiec »

SAP

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 10:49:50 AM »
Logical, I don't know if she felt that she was not at fault for the deaths b/c of her caring attitude for the little ducks. I also don't think the min and max terms should be dropped. I really wonder how this would have played out if there had been a deer or moose there and she had to stop fast.

http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/tpw_dh_chap4.pdf

The 3 second rule is what I always use and on good road conditions anyone can stop providing they weren't speeding excessively. A motorcycle is lighter and can stop faster than a car. Gaining on a vehicle ahead and seeing the brake lights on, are also an indication something is happening ahead. Most people do not abide by all the traffic rules and laws. There is always someone who will sneak into a space you left open between you and the next vehicle ... I find that happens alot.

At the end of the day, Emma made some bad choices in stopping in busy traffic. It was a frivolous thought she had, to capture the ducks who happened to be safe already on the side of the roadway. Since she was already in the left lane she could have made a turn around at the next intersection and came back to the ducks, provided there was a shoulder on that roadway. Also at the end of the day, the cyclist should have seen her brakelights and with the 3 second rule should have been able to stop in time. IMO.

eta: Everyone has differing opinions and there are many on this link. According to the author of the article, the cyclist was driving in excess of the speed limit. Both parties could have avoided what happened. And yes, it is a criminal offence to park a car in the lane.

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/06/25/highway-duck-rescuer-not-a-criminal
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 11:03:26 AM by SAP »

RubyRose

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 12:35:35 PM »
Thank you for providing that link, SAP.  I agree with everthing the columnist says.  Both the charge and the verdict are totally ridiculous.  The only thing the poor girl is guilty of is using poor judgement.

I hope she has the means available to appeal this decision.

SAP

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 03:02:32 PM »
You are welcome RR. I hope so as well she does appeal.

Have faith

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 10:34:10 PM »

Being a passionate animal lover of all kinds, I can relate to Emma's empathy in trying to help the ducklings.  Would I stop my car in the passing lane on a highway to rescue them--no.  That is beyond stupid and reckless.  I can't believe that she did it.

If anything, the media attention should help in educating the public who face similar occurrences on highways. 

I hope that Emma gets a light sentence, as I'm sure that she will live with the horror, for the rest of her life, in seeing two people killed because of her actions.  She will most likely face a multi-million dollar civil law suit as well.  What a nightmare.  RIP to those killed--speeding or not.


Sap1

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 01:52:40 PM »
That is doable rather than a life sentence in jail.

I will always maintain there was also a lot of carelessness on the cyclists part though. Had he been watching his speed and the traffic he should have seen the red park/break lights. More often than not, I tend to drive over the speed limit myself and more often than not, motor cyclists leave me behind in a cloud of their dust and gone in seconds.

RubyRose

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 05:26:09 AM »
I agree, Sap1.

While Emma may not have used the best judgment in what she did, the cyclist still had a responsibility to be driving in a safe fashion.  There are any number of reasons why drivers may have to stop suddenly on busy highways and you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings and what you are doing.

Sap1

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 05:13:11 PM »
Exactly RubyRose.
That goes for traffic that is stopped as well at lights. So many people have to snuggle their cars/vehicles right up to the person in front ... too close for comfort at a stop too b/c then you cannot see the taillights. But on the open road it's even more stringent that a rider/driver keep a good distance from other vehicles. 

Sap1

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Re: Emma's Sentence | Sorry but I don't understand this
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2017, 02:00:12 PM »
Well, if there was a bend enough in the road to obscure anything around the bend, then speed would be posted as reduced considerably. I know a lot of people do not slow down if they know the road well but if one has slowed down, stopping should not be a problem and they can gather their thoughts and park on the shoulder. If there was a speeder and he didn't have time to stop before, there is still that option to stop after the supposed accident on the roadway and park on the shoulder.
I think if someone parked in the middle and they were hit by another vehicle, the good samaritan would lose out in court if it came to that.

One blizzarding winter day in early evening darkness on a straight stretch of road there was a large semi went partially into a ditch on highway 2 northern ab. Our one Doc was heading southbound and stopped in the middle of the road more or less. Before he had a chance to get out of his vehicle he was hit from behind and it caused a chain reaction of accidents. He was hurt and there were multiple injuries. He was also charged for something but I cannot remember the details.