SUV hits 7 Pedestrians, Kills 17-mont...

SUV hits 7 Pedestrians, Kills 17-month-old near Harrisonburg

There are 61 comments on the NBC29 Charlottesville story from Aug 31, 2012, titled SUV hits 7 Pedestrians, Kills 17-month-old near Harrisonburg. In it, NBC29 Charlottesville reports that:

An 18-month-old child is dead and six other people are being treated for injuries after a sport utility vehicle ran off the road and hit them.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NBC29 Charlottesville.

another Carole

Penn Laird, VA

#41 Sep 1, 2012
peoplearecrazy wrote:
I really doubt that anyone on here follows the speed limit,and I guess none of you ever talk on the phone while driving.If adults can't follow the rules,why would you expect a juvenile.it makes me sick to see people blame others,when they, theirselves don't obey the rules either.I get passed everywhere.on the right,two lane roads,it doesn't matter,everyone,except the elderly seem to be preoccupied,I see them with both hands on the wheel driving,wish I could say the same for all the other idiots I see out there.Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house!
Wow! You've just come up with the solution to a really hard problem!!!! Since everybody speeds and EVERYBODY talks on their phone while driving and since no one ever follows the rules anyway, let's just throw out all the rules and everybody do your own thing. If a few hundred toddlers (you know that those two-year-olds break the rules all the time) and kids and your own mother and grandmother get killed--well then that's just too bad--especially since they are dead, they can't throw stones. They've probably all broken some rule or law, so they deserve what they get. We don't want to hold anybody accountable for their actions. Responsibility for one's actions is so 1950's. It's just so much more modern to say since everyone breaks the rules and laws, nobody should be blamed or be punished, so what good are the laws and rules to begin with. If we had no rules and laws, everybody would be perfect!!!!! Wow! You should get a medal!!!

I have never, ever talked on a phone while driving, but I definitely felt that stone you threw at me just the same.
Bubble Burster

Penn Laird, VA

#42 Sep 1, 2012
peoplearecrazy wrote:
I really doubt that anyone on here follows the speed limit,and I guess none of you ever talk on the phone while driving.If adults can't follow the rules,why would you expect a juvenile.it makes me sick to see people blame others,when they, theirselves don't obey the rules either.I get passed everywhere.on the right,two lane roads,it doesn't matter,everyone,except the elderly seem to be preoccupied,I see them with both hands on the wheel driving,wish I could say the same for all the other idiots I see out there.Don't throw stones when you live in a glass house!
Why is it that the person throwing the biggest boulder-sized stones always quotes the "Don't throw stones blah blah blah"????? Furthermore, why is it that those same people think everybody else but them are crazy??? Delusional much?????
Steve

Lyndhurst, VA

#43 Sep 1, 2012
Does anyone else notice that the inflamatory, judgmental, hateful comments usually come from Charlottesville/Albemarle County folks?
SHAME

Harrisonburg, VA

#44 Sep 1, 2012
This 16 year old should have to take on what he done. I still think its to damn soon for a kid to get their license and in this issue, it is what it is, he should stand responsible, a baby lost their life and he was the driver
CvilleGordo

Lexington, VA

#45 Sep 1, 2012
Figured it out wrote:
<quoted text>
So you truly, honestly believe that what this kid did was the moral equivalent of going to to the home of someone you've fallen out with then and beating them until they are dead?
Huh? Who's talking about morals? No, I meant that you are confused with your definitions. "Murder" does not necessarily mean "willful, deliberate, and premeditated" killing. CAPITAL murder does. Here: 18.2-31.

As for this kid, I'm interested that no one has mentioned alcohol, or that no one has taken my bait. Ordinarily, after a fatal accident, that is what is required for the involuntary manslaughter charge.
Figured it out

Charlottesville, VA

#46 Sep 1, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
<quoted text>
Huh? Who's talking about morals? No, I meant that you are confused with your definitions. "Murder" does not necessarily mean "willful, deliberate, and premeditated" killing. CAPITAL murder does. Here: 18.2-31.
As for this kid, I'm interested that no one has mentioned alcohol, or that no one has taken my bait. Ordinarily, after a fatal accident, that is what is required for the involuntary manslaughter charge.
I never said murder required being "willful, deliberate, and premeditated". Murder is unlawful killing with malice aforethought.

What this kid did is likely to fit many other criminal charges as have been mentioned above. What it does not fit is murder.

Go read the wikipedia page if you have trouble understanding the difference between murder and manslaughter.

As for alcohol, I don't think it's been mentioned because it hasn't been suggested. Sufficiently reckless driving is sufficient for an involuntary manslaughter charge and I think in these circumstances would be much more likely.
Bubble Burster

Penn Laird, VA

#47 Sep 1, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
<quoted text>
Huh? Who's talking about morals? No, I meant that you are confused with your definitions. "Murder" does not necessarily mean "willful, deliberate, and premeditated" killing. CAPITAL murder does. Here: 18.2-31.
As for this kid, I'm interested that no one has mentioned alcohol, or that no one has taken my bait. Ordinarily, after a fatal accident, that is what is required for the involuntary manslaughter charge.
It was early morning--he was on the way to school, the bus had just picked up some kids at the bus stop, so I doubt there was alcohol involved. The parents of the baby, who have certainly been kept up to date on the situation by the investigators, say that he was driving distracted. If he was texting, that would be a reason for charging him with involuntary manslaughter.
CvilleGordo

Lexington, VA

#48 Sep 1, 2012
Figured it out wrote:
<quoted text>
I never said murder required being "willful, deliberate, and premeditated". Murder is unlawful killing with malice aforethought.
What this kid did is likely to fit many other criminal charges as have been mentioned above. What it does not fit is murder.
Go read the wikipedia page if you have trouble understanding the difference between murder and manslaughter.
As for alcohol, I don't think it's been mentioned because it hasn't been suggested. Sufficiently reckless driving is sufficient for an involuntary manslaughter charge and I think in these circumstances would be much more likely.
You did say "murder requires premeditation"!! You can get your legal info from Wikipedia, I'll get mine from a slightly better source.
Dave

Charlottesville, VA

#49 Sep 1, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
<quoted text>
You did say "murder requires premeditation"!! You can get your legal info from Wikipedia, I'll get mine from a slightly better source.
Marks & Harrison commercials?
CvilleGordo

Lexington, VA

#50 Sep 1, 2012
Dave wrote:
<quoted text>
Marks & Harrison commercials?
Absolutely.
Paul

Charlottesville, VA

#51 Sep 1, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
<quoted text>
You did say "murder requires premeditation"!! You can get your legal info from Wikipedia, I'll get mine from a slightly better source.
Actually murder does require the intent to kill.
Greg

Charlottesville, VA

#52 Sep 2, 2012
Bubble Burster wrote:
<quoted text>If he was texting, that would be a reason for charging him with involuntary manslaughter.
I wouldn't be so sure:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/tex...
CvilleGordo

Lexington, VA

#53 Sep 2, 2012
Notwithstanding the henpecking and nitpicking going on above, the following is an excellent reference and very helpful in understanding why this driver was charged as he was.

This is from:
http://www.sagepub.com/lippmanccl2e/study/sup...

A motor vehicle, wrongfully used, can be a weapon as deadly as a gun or a knife. Circumstances can be imagined in which a killing caused by the wrongful use of a motor vehicle might fit any one of the five categories of homicide known to our law. We recognized in Harrison v. Commonwealth, 183 Va. 394, 401, 32 S.E.2d 136, 139-40 (1944), that the premeditated use of an automobile to kill can be first-degree murder. If such an act fits within the statutory categories of Code 18.2-31, such a killing could be capital murder. A killing in sudden heat of passion, upon reasonable provocation, by the use of a motor vehicle, could be voluntary manslaughter. Killings caused by the grossly negligent operation of motor vehicles, showing a reckless disregard of human life, have frequently resulted in convictions of involuntary manslaughter.
We have not, heretofore, had occasion to review a second-degree murder conviction based upon the use of an automobile, but the governing principles are the same as those which apply to any other kind of second-degree murder: the victim must be shown to have died as a result of the defendant's conduct, and the defendant's conduct must be shown to be malicious. In the absence of express malice, this element may only be implied from conduct likely to cause death or great bodily harm, willfully or purposefully undertaken. Thus, for example, one who deliberately drives a car into a crowd of people at a high speed, not intending to kill or injury any particular person, but rather seeking the perverse thrill of terrifying them and causing them to scatter, might be convicted of second-degree murder if death results. One who accomplishes the same result inadvertently, because of grossly negligent driving, causing him to lose control of his car, could be convicted only of involuntary manslaughter. In the first case the act was volitional; in the second it was inadvertent, however reckless and irresponsible.
Bubble Burster

Monroe, VA

#54 Sep 2, 2012
Greg wrote:
<quoted text>
I wouldn't be so sure:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/tex...
The difference being that the driver in the case in Fairfax was over 18 years old, so the texting issue was a "secondary" offense. While texting for adult drivers (except school bus drivers) is a secondary offense and talking on a hand-held cell phone is not even against the law, for junior drivers (under 18 years old) texting and talking on a cell phone, whether hand-held or not, is a primary offense. If a cop sees an adult actually texting while driving, the driver has to commit another primary offense before they can even be pulled over and cited. Not so with a juvenile. They can be pulled over if the cop sees them with a cell phone being used while driving.

This is a fairly new law, which has not been tested in the courts, so we will have to see what the outcome is.
Figured it out

Charlottesville, VA

#55 Sep 2, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
Notwithstanding the henpecking and nitpicking going on above, the following is an excellent reference and very helpful in understanding why this driver was charged as he was.
This is from:
http://www.sagepub.com/lippmanccl2e/study/sup...
Good PDF. I trust you noticed the bit that says "Murder is the unlawful killing of any person with malice aforethought"
CvilleGordo

Lexington, VA

#56 Sep 3, 2012
Figured it out wrote:
<quoted text>
Good PDF. I trust you noticed the bit that says "Murder is the unlawful killing of any person with malice aforethought"
And?
Figured it out

Charlottesville, VA

#57 Sep 3, 2012
CvilleGordo wrote:
<quoted text>
And?
You said the guy should be charged with murder. I said that wasn't possible as he did not have the state of mind required for a murder conviction. I said the charge of involuntary manslaughter seemed appropriate to the facts as we know them.

You then argued back suggesting I was wrong.

Are you suggesting the driver did have malice aforethought? Or do you now accept that, based on the information released, a murder charge could not possibly hold and that your suggestion was wrong.
Nancy

Cary, NC

#58 Sep 10, 2012
Praying for all involved. Especially the parents of the 17 month old precious baby. And the 16 year old driver.
SHAME

Harrisonburg, VA

#59 Sep 11, 2012
It is a shame about all that were involved and I am not taking up for the driver at all, but that young man is going to have to live with this on his mind day after day. He will be consumed in his own hell, no matter what any of you all have to say. Sure people were seriously hurt and a baby killed, and that is all sad enough, but people come on now, God is the one who will really deal with this in his own way,you could have done the very same thing. We all are not perfect.What if it was your son who had done this, and dont pretend that you would say he will get what he deserves, if it was your son, how would you deal with it. I am just curious! My heart goes out to the family who lost their child, there are no words to explain the death of a child.
CvilleGordo

Charlottesville, VA

#60 Sep 11, 2012
Figured it out wrote:
<quoted text>
You said the guy should be charged with murder. I said that wasn't possible as he did not have the state of mind required for a murder conviction. I said the charge of involuntary manslaughter seemed appropriate to the facts as we know them.
You then argued back suggesting I was wrong.
Are you suggesting the driver did have malice aforethought? Or do you now accept that, based on the information released, a murder charge could not possibly hold and that your suggestion was wrong.
Something isn't tracking here. Where did I say that the guy should be charged with murder?

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