Woman dies in two-car crash near Sun ...

Woman dies in two-car crash near Sun City Hilton Head; drivers ...

There are 21 comments on the Island Packet story from Mar 1, 2008, titled Woman dies in two-car crash near Sun City Hilton Head; drivers .... In it, Island Packet reports that:

Two people are dead following two separate car crashes in Beaufort County late Friday and early Saturday, according to police.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Island Packet.

First Prev
of 2
Next Last
rich k

United States

#1 Mar 3, 2008
I knew both Eric and Donna for a short amount of time they are good people, it is a shame this tragedy occured. God bless all those involved inclusive of their loved ones.

The thing that puzzles me is Mr. Bittner did not cause the fatal accident, Norman Lyles did. The publicity should read something of this sort;
Norman Lyles of Conyers Ga. Pulled out in front of Eric Bittner Killing an innocent mother and crushing hearts, He should be charged with involutary manslaghter, he was the killer, the taker of life with his poor driving, he ruined peoples lives killing another, injuring all occupants involved as well as everyones friends and families that were involved.
Eric and Donna were great employess where they worked in the time i knew them I never saw them intoxicated. Why is the focus placed on Bittner?
He was driving in the right of way.
Fab

Myrtle Beach, SC

#2 Mar 3, 2008
Darn good question...I wonder how many individuals who had not had a drop of alcohol and were driving on 278 would have had a different a different outcome. There but by the grace of God go I...think about it.
Hilton Head

United States

#3 Mar 4, 2008
Fab wrote:
Darn good question...I wonder how many individuals who had not had a drop of alcohol and were driving on 278 would have had a different a different outcome. There but by the grace of God go I...think about it.
I don't think this had anything to do with alcohol it had to do with poor driving / Inattention to oncoming traffic. Was Lyles given or offered an alcohol test? If he gave blood at the hospital the results should be retrieved by a competent Atty.
The problem is if he was admitted to a Ga. hospital S.C.H.P. is very limited do to the jurisdiction of the hospital.
SECTION 56-5-2330. Stop signs and yield signs.
(a) Preferential right-of-way may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized by the Department of Transportation or local authorities.
(b) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line but, if none, before entering the cross-walk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting road before entering it. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. If such driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield right-of-way.
How can somebody be presumed materially and appreciablly impaired when someone darts out in front of them in the dark? Now if the shoes were on the other feet that point might be sustainable.
SECTION 56-5-2930. Operating motor vehicle while under influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while:
(1) under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person's faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired;
(2) under the influence of any other drug or a combination of other drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person's faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired; or
(3) under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person's faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired.
Infomania

United States

#4 Mar 4, 2008
Involuntary Manslaughter,Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another human being without intent. The absence of the intent element is the essential difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Also in most states, involuntary manslaughter does not result from a heat of passion but from an improper use of reasonable care or skill while in the commission of a lawful act or while in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony.
Generally there are two types of involuntary manslaughter:(1) criminal-negligence manslaughter; and (2) unlawful-act manslaughter. The first occurs when death results from a high degree of Negligence or recklessness, and the second occurs when death is caused by one who commits or attempts to commit an unlawful act, usually a misdemeanor.
Although all jurisdictions punish involuntary manslaughter, the statutes vary somewhat. In some states, the criminal negligence type of manslaughter is described as gross negligence or culpable negligence. Others divide the entire offense of manslaughter into degrees, with voluntary manslaughter constituting a more serious offense and carrying a heavier penalty than involuntary manslaughter.
Many statutes do not define the offense or define it vaguely in common-law terms. There are, however, a small number of modern statutes that are more specific. Under one such statute, the offense is defined as the commission of a lawful act without proper caution or requisite skill, in which one unguardedly or undesignedly kills another or the commission of an unlawful act that is not felonious or tends to inflict great bodily harm.
Infomania

United States

#5 Mar 4, 2008
Criminally Negligent Manslaughter A homicide resulting from the taking of an unreasonable and high degree of risk is usually considered criminally negligent manslaughter. Jurisdictions are divided on the question of whether the defendant must be aware of the risk. Modern criminal codes generally require a consciousness of risk, although, under some codes, the absence of this element makes the offense a less serious homicide.
There are numerous cases in which an omission to act or a failure to perform a duty constitutes criminally negligent manslaughter. The existence of a duty is essential. Since the law does not recognize that an ordinary person has a duty to aid or rescue another in distress, an ensuing death from failure to act would not be manslaughter. On the other hand, an omission in which one has a duty, such as the failure of a lifeguard to attempt to save a drowning person, might constitute the offense.
When the failure to act is reckless or negligent, and not intentional, it is usually manslaughter. If the omission is intentional and death is likely or substantially likely to result, the offense might be murder. When an intent to kill, recklessness, and negligence are present, no offense is committed.
In many jurisdictions, death that results from the operation of a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner is punishable as a separate offense. Usually it is considered a less severe crime than involuntary manslaughter. Although criminal negligence is an element, it is generally not the same degree of negligence as that which is required for involuntary manslaughter. For example, some vehicular homicide statutes have been construed to require only ordinary negligence while, in a majority of jurisdictions, a greater degree of negligence is required for involuntary manslaughter.
Unlawful-Act Manslaughter In many states, unlawful-act manslaughter is committed when death results from an act that is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to another person. In a majority of jurisdictions, however, the offense is committed when death occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a misdemeanor.
In some states, a distinction is made between conduct that is malum in se, bad in itself and conduct that is malum prohibitum, bad because prohibited by law. In these states, the act that causes the death must be malum in se and a felony in order for the offense to constitute manslaughter. If the act is malum prohibitum, there is no manslaughter unless it was foreseeable that death would be a direct result of the act. In other states that similarly divide the offense, the crime is committed even though the act was malum prohibitum and a misdemeanor, especially if the unlawful act was in violation of a statute that was intended to prevent injury to other persons.
PunishmentThe penalty for manslaughter is imprisonment. The precise term of years depends upon the applicable statute. Usually the sentence that is imposed for voluntary manslaughter is greater than that given for involuntary manslaughter. In most states, a more serious penalty is imposed for criminally negligent manslaughter than for unlawful-act manslaughter.
Infomania

United States

#6 Mar 4, 2008
Further readings
Milgate, Deborah E. 1998. "The Flame Flickers, but Burns On: Modern Judicial Application of the Ancient Heat of Passion Defense." Rutgers Law Review 51 (fall): 193227.
Miller, Emily L. 2001. "(Woman) slaughter: Voluntary Manslaughter, Gender, and the Model Penal Code." Emory Law Journal 50 (spring): 66593.
Miller, Henry. 1975. Human Error: The Road to Disaster. Chatsworth, Calif.: Canyon Books.
Cross-references
Deadly Force.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
----------
manslaughter n. the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation or so-called "malice aforethought" (an evil intent prior to the killing). It is distinguished from murder (which brings greater penalties) by lack of any prior intention to kill anyone or create a deadly situation. There are two levels of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter includes killing in heat of passion or while committing a felony. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death is caused by a violation of a non-felony, such as reckless driving (called "vehicular manslaughter"). Examples: Eddy Hothead gets into a drunken argument in a saloon with his acquaintance Bob Bonehead, and Hothead hits Bonehead over the head with a beer bottle, causing internal bleeding and death. Brent Burgle sneaks into a warehouse intent on theft and is surprised by a security man, whom Burgle knocks down a flight of stairs, killing him. Both are voluntary manslaughter. However, if either man had used a gun, a murder charge is most likely since he brought a deadly weapon to use in the crime. The immediate rage in finding a loved one in bed with another, followed by a killing before the passion cools usually limits the charge to voluntary manslaughter and not murder, but prior attacks could convince a District Attorney and a jury that the killing was not totally spontaneous. Lenny Leadfoot drives 70 miles per hour on a twisting mountain road, goes off a cliff and his passenger is killed in the crash. Leadfoot can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.(See: murder, homicide)
Copyright 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
Infomania

United States

#7 Mar 4, 2008
----------
MANSLAUGHTER, crim. law. The unlawful killing of another without malice either express or implied. 4 Bl. Com. 190 1 Hale, P. C. 466. The distinctions between manslaughter and murder, consists in the following. In the former, though the act which occasions the death be unlawful, or likely to be attended with bodily mischief, yet the malice, either express or implied, which is the very essence of murder, is presumed to be wanting in manslaughter. 1 East, P. C. 218 Foster, 290.
2. It also differs from murder in this, that there can be no accessaries before the fact, there having been no time for premeditation. 1 Hale, P. C. 437; 1 Russ. Cr. 485. Manslaughter is voluntary, when it happens upon a sudden heat; or involuntary, when it takes place in the commission of some unlawful act.
3. The cases of manslaughter may be classed as follows those which take place in consequence of, 1. Provocation. 2. Mutual combat. 3. Resistance to public officers, &c. 4. Killing in the prosecution of an unlawful or wanton act. 5. Killing in the prosecution of a lawful act, improperly performed, or performed without lawful authority.
4.-1. The provocation which reduces the killing from murder to manslaughter is an answer to the presumption of malice which the law raises in every case of homicide; it is therefore no answer when express malice is proved. 1 Russ. Cr, 440; Foster, 132; 1 East, P. C. 239; and to be available the provocation must have been reasonable and recent, for no words or slight provocation will be sufficient, and if the party, has had time to cool, malice will be inferred.
5.-2. In cases of mutual combat, it is generally manslaughter only when one of the parties is killed. When death ensues from duelling the rule is different, and such killing is murder.
6.-3. The killing of an officer by resistance to him while acting under lawful authority is murder; but if the officer be acting under a void or illegal authority, or out of his jurisdiction, the killing is manslaughter, or excusable homicide, according to the circumstances of the case. 1 Moody, C. C. 80, 132; 1 Hale, P. C. 458; 1 East, P. C. 314; 2 Stark. N. P. C. 205; S. C. 3 E. C. L. R. 315.
7.-4. Killing a person while doing an act of mere wantonness, is manslaughter as, if a person throws down stones in a coal-pit, by which a man is killed, although the offender was only a trespasser. Lewin, C. C. 179.
8.-5. When death ensues from the performance of a lawful act, it may, in consequence of the negligence of the offender, amount to manslaughter. For instance, if the death has been, occasioned by negligent driving. 1 East, P. C. 263; 1 C. & P. 320 S. C. 9 E. C. L. R. 408; 6 C. & P. 629; S. C. 25 E. C. L. R. 569. Again, when death ensues, from the gross negligence of a medical or surgical practitioner, it is manslaughter. 1 Hale, P. C. 429; 3 C. & P. 632; S. C. 14 E, C. L. R. 495.
A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
Lenore

Myrtle Beach, SC

#8 Mar 4, 2008
It was 10PM, seems like they were coming home from diner not like they were out partying. I wonder how many of us would be citied if we were stopped after having wine with our dinner?
Fab

Myrtle Beach, SC

#9 Mar 4, 2008
Highway 278 is a major highway in this part of Beaufort county with a speed limit that ranges from 50 to 55 MPH in the particular area where this accident occured--there is no light at this location as this is not an intersection. The individual that hit Eric's car was turning left onto 278 coming out of The Ale House.

It is the responsibility of the driver that does not have the right of way to make sure the road is clear and that it is safe to turn before proceeding. This individual's alcohol level was not measured because his injuries were severe enough that he was airlifted to a major hospital in Savannah.

As a point of reference, Eric and his girlfried were driving home after shopping at Walmart. The extent of his intoxication is that he had a beer with dinner approximately one and one half hours prior to the accident.
Christina Medina

Forestdale, RI

#10 Mar 5, 2008
Donna Croft was my Aunt. She was a wonderful person inside and out. Never did she have anything negitive to say about anyone. She lived in Bluffton, SC and i live in Haverhill, MA, and she was my god mother. Because of some poor decisions a wonderful heart felt woman can never hear the words I love you again! All of our family misses her dearly and we will always keep her in our hearts. Even though i may never see her again until we meet in heaven I know she can hear me when I pray for her at night and she knows I will always love her.
madmother99

Wadmalaw Island, SC

#11 Mar 5, 2008
Eric Bittner might not have run through a yield sign but he was drunk driving just the same, meaning he was impaired from driving defensively. Just a scan through the court's public index records show that he has a history of DUI, public drunkeness, drugs, open container, petty larceny, domestic abuse, and a vast array of speeding tickets in other parts of the state.
When are we going to get these people off the streets and out from behind the steering wheel of vehicles. All of us and our families are at risk of the same outcome.
MeE22

Knoxville, TN

#12 Mar 5, 2008
As a person who works at the hospital, i can tell you that Mr. Lyles had no alcohol in his system. So as far as him being charged with whatever offense, that should be left for the young man, who was driving the vehicle under the influence of Alcohol. It is tragic enough that a life was lost in this, but the blame game should start with the individuals that were in the accident. They have to look at their actions and decide if they were in the right or wrong. I'm sure both drivers made mistakes in the accident but driving under the influence sounds like the reason the severity of the accident was, what it was. And if we know anything about breathalizer testing we should be aware that ONE beer, or even TWO beers doesn't record a failure on the sobriety test. I've seen my fair share of accident victims but one, even two beers don't result in a failed alcohol test.
Pinkhorse44

Camden, SC

#15 Mar 6, 2008
Yes, I agree that Mr. Lyles did make a bad call and agreeing with the charge. However, Mr. Bittner made the choice to drink and drive...that was NOT a mistake, but a CHOICE. There must have been enough evidence to charge Mr. Bittner with the drunken driving charge. Without sufficient evidence, they could not have charged him. In addition, driving while intoxicated slows your reaction time and as everyone knows you need to drive defensively everyday because of people like Mr. Lyles who did not.

The COMBINATION of Mr. Lyles and Mr. Bittner's actions caused a 10 year old child to lose her mother. These are the facts. They are both at fault.

In looking online, I cannot find past charges on Mr. Lyles, but Mr. Bittner has quite a record in Richland County, South Carolina, of the same charges madmother mentioned in the above blog.(DUI, public drunkeness, drugs, open container, petty larceny, domestic abuse, and a vast array of speeding tickets).

In addition, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford just signed off on a new DUI bill last month for tougher laws concerning repeat DUI offenders.

Again, poor choices of both drivers caused another to lose their life.
Pinkhorse44

Camden, SC

#16 Mar 6, 2008
I am sorry if I sound harsh, but I speak the truth due to losing my cousin last year in a similar accident.
The Truth

United States

#17 Mar 7, 2008
Madmother99 is right. Eric Bittner is a waste of skin and deserves to be put in jail for the rest of his life! You people are crazy to defend him in this forum. I am related to him and have seen him evade the judicial system through loopholes for over 20 years. This waste of organs even LIED about his condition that night. He said that he had NOT been drinking prior to the accident. It is about time he actually spent some real time in prison.
Gamecock Fan

Columbia, SC

#18 Mar 8, 2008
Eric should not have been on the road in the first place. When you are involved in an auto accident under the influence, you should be charged with the accident whether it was your fault or not! If he had stayed at home due to his drinking,this accident would have never happened.
Jack Frost

AOL

#19 Mar 8, 2008
Gamecock Fan wrote:
Eric should not have been on the road in the first place. When you are involved in an auto accident under the influence, you should be charged with the accident whether it was your fault or not! If he had stayed at home due to his drinking,this accident would have never happened.
Pink horse, gamecock fan, madmother, etc.,...
"I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong"..
white lady

Columbia, SC

#20 Mar 14, 2008
Anyone who knows Eric would understand that his true love is budweiser and that is all he cares about. If he acts compassionate towards you it is only because he wants something that will ultimately help him be with his true love, Budweiser.

He has disrupted so many lives because of his drinking and now he has taken someones life because he chose to get in a car and drive after drinking.

Maybe this will be a wake up call ( I doubt it) he's probably sucking face with this true love right now.
The Truth

United States

#21 Mar 14, 2008
Storm Trooper wrote:
Lets take a drive down the hwy.
Okay now throw a freight train in your path.
Can you avoid the destiny of the incident?
Could Mr. Bittner?
Oh by the way I'm drinking a cold beer and I figured this one out.
Who would be at fault? THE FREIGHT TRAIN A.K.A.
A JEEP COMMANDO DRIVEN BY A SOBER IDIOT!!!!
I'm pretty sure I could avoid a freight train (or another car; I've done it many, many times!) when I'm not drunk behind the wheel. So could Eric. But being that he WAS drunk, his reflexes weren't what they could have been. And his girlfriend died tragically and needlessly as a result.
Stop defending a waste of skin. It makes me wonder why you're so defensive of people who DUI.
UnBeliever

United States

#22 Mar 14, 2008
white lady wrote:
Anyone who knows Eric would understand that his true love is budweiser and that is all he cares about. If he acts compassionate towards you it is only because he wants something that will ultimately help him be with his true love, Budweiser.
He has disrupted so many lives because of his drinking and now he has taken someones life because he chose to get in a car and drive after drinking.
Maybe this will be a wake up call ( I doubt it) he's probably sucking face with this true love right now.
Yes, he probably is. Down at the Masonic Lodge. Where he will receive absolution from his worshipful master. Then he will be back on the road again, and again, and again. Or until the real God has time to remove him from our mist.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 2
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Bluffton Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News New stores coming to Old Town Bluffton Mon natosoco 1
News In evacuation, all roads lead west Mon natosoco 1
Ridgeland Music Forum (Nov '12) Aug 8 Musikologist 12
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems - MERS... (Sep '12) Aug '15 MortgageFraud 3
News 9 dead in 'hate crime' shooting at S.C. church Jul '15 shazbotbaru0 456
News Donald Trump visits border: What (or who) is hi... Jul '15 wild child 4
News Has Trump 'cheapened' the 2016 race? Why some s... Jul '15 Ray 2
More from around the web

Personal Finance

Bluffton Mortgages