Acton firefighter charged in fatal cr...

Acton firefighter charged in fatal crash - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 76 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Mar 7, 2009, titled Acton firefighter charged in fatal crash - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

Westminster Police on Friday arrested an Acton firefighter, alleging he was driving drunk during an SUV crash that killed a fellow firefighter.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

First Prev
of 4
Next Last
SAD

Burlington, MA

#1 Mar 7, 2009
This is so sad.
God Bless all involved.
RTBSTD

Plymouth, MA

#2 Mar 7, 2009
This is sad. And may God give comfort to all the families involved.
May the justice department serve with blind eyes as to the punishment. Drunk driving is aviodable. You kow when you put that first drink in your hand wether or not you are driving. As tragic as this is it will keep happening till people learn DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. As sorry as I feel for family who lost a loved one, and the man that now has to live with the fact that he took it, if you drink then drive, the punishment should be swift and harsh.
If you argue "look at all the good" he did as a fire fighter, I will argue all the reason he should have known better.
God Speed Leo Hayes, may God grace you and your family, and may he comfort James Rautenburg and bring him strength and courage for the road ahead of him.
SAD

Burlington, MA

#3 Mar 8, 2009
RTBSTD wrote:
This is sad. And may God give comfort to all the families involved.
May the justice department serve with blind eyes as to the punishment. Drunk driving is aviodable. You kow when you put that first drink in your hand wether or not you are driving. As tragic as this is it will keep happening till people learn DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. As sorry as I feel for family who lost a loved one, and the man that now has to live with the fact that he took it, if you drink then drive, the punishment should be swift and harsh.
If you argue "look at all the good" he did as a fire fighter, I will argue all the reason he should have known better.
God Speed Leo Hayes, may God grace you and your family, and may he comfort James Rautenburg and bring him strength and courage for the road ahead of him.
AMEN!
anon

United States

#5 Mar 9, 2009
Any other Joe would have been charged that day. They all knew at the scene Rautenburg was drunk..but instead, as per ususual with our dedicated brotherhood of public servants they protected this criminal until they could no longer. Shame on them. This brotherhood crap is just that..crap. It all neoptisim and cover-up. These guys aren't heroes. They have a job just like the rest of us, and only since 911 did they all become "heroes". Bull@#$*. The guy who works 3 menial jobs to support his family, and stays out of trouble and doesn't drink and drive and kill...he's the hero.
Stop the ignorance

Lowell, MA

#7 Mar 9, 2009
anon wrote:
Any other Joe would have been charged that day. They all knew at the scene Rautenburg was drunk..but instead, as per ususual with our dedicated brotherhood of public servants they protected this criminal until they could no longer. Shame on them. This brotherhood **** is just that..****. It all neoptisim and cover-up. These guys aren't heroes. They have a job just like the rest of us, and only since 911 did they all become "heroes". Bull@#$*. The guy who works 3 menial jobs to support his family, and stays out of trouble and doesn't drink and drive and kill...he's the hero.
It's clear YOU work three "menial" jobs...what you wrote is not only ignorant and insulting-but completely insensitive to Leo's family and friends who are devastated. Who will YOU call when your house is on fire or who will come to save you when you have had an accident?? These men and women put their own lives on the line for the safety of others. HOW DARE YOU WRITE THE THINGS YOU WROTE. Drunk driving is a crime. Justice will be served. The devastation of Leo's death has been widespread-getting through the first week was hard enough without dealing with the court appearances etc. Nothing is being covered up-after the services law enforcement moved swiftly. Rautenberg wasn't going anywhere. This incident did not need to happen-and justice will prevail. But for you to make blanket statements about firefighters and police is nauseating. Firefighters die in the line of duty. They never know what each day will bring or what precarious situation they will find themselves in. Do you face life or death situations from your cubicle or your job flipping burgers? How many lives have YOU saved in your "job"?? None? That's what I thought. SHAME ON YOU.
No Brainer

United States

#8 Mar 10, 2009
Stop the ignorance wrote:
<quoted text>
It's clear YOU work three "menial" jobs...what you wrote is not only ignorant and insulting-but completely insensitive to Leo's family and friends who are devastated. Who will YOU call when your house is on fire or who will come to save you when you have had an accident?? These men and women put their own lives on the line for the safety of others. HOW DARE YOU WRITE THE THINGS YOU WROTE. Drunk driving is a crime. Justice will be served. The devastation of Leo's death has been widespread-getting through the first week was hard enough without dealing with the court appearances etc. Nothing is being covered up-after the services law enforcement moved swiftly. Rautenberg wasn't going anywhere. This incident did not need to happen-and justice will prevail. But for you to make blanket statements about firefighters and police is nauseating. Firefighters die in the line of duty. They never know what each day will bring or what precarious situation they will find themselves in. Do you face life or death situations from your cubicle or your job flipping burgers? How many lives have YOU saved in your "job"?? None? That's what I thought. SHAME ON YOU.
1. Even you cannot deny that a professional courtesy was given to Jimmy as to not arrest him until after the services. How many cubicle-ite drunk drivers who killed someone are given that?

2. Leo's family should be outraged that he chose to drink to 2x+ and jeapardize not only the future of his own family unit, but the lives of every single person out on the roads in that area that day. It was not a mistake.

3. You are right in that blanket statements should not be made about anyone. Including the a s s umption that non-fire/police lives are not at risk on a daily basis. Victims of drunk drivers die every day in the line of their own jobs and lives. They never know what each day will bring when they climb, sober, into their own vehicle.

4. But, this was no ordinary case of drunk driving. It involved someone TRAINED to protect and live by example. Like it or not, it IS worse when a crime is committed by those sworn to protect.

5. And, being trained, there is absolutely no way that intelligent people will buy that Leo did not know that Jimmy should not have been driving.

How dare you expect others to sit by and not show outrage at the fact that our own lives, not just Jimmy's and Leo's were put in mortal danger that day. For alcohol. At a Firefighter's Muster. People trained to serve and protect. People need to speak up, loud and clear, that we just will not be cowtowed into buying the whole 'what a good guy they are' BS. Just because someone may have done good things in their lives doesn't mean that we need to be silent over the fact that the good guy could have killed innocent people.
Bro

AOL

#9 Mar 10, 2009
If a courtesy was extended , it was to Leo's family, not James. He was at the funeral, at the family's request. If you have a problem with that, tough.... At least someone had some compassion for the family.
Actually, let me rephrase that.... A lot of people had compassion and sympathy for Leo's family, both in and out of the fire service. It's just the trolls hiding behind computers here that feel the need to throw spears....

You can climb down off your soapbox anytime. People have already move on to the next issue du jour.......
anon

United States

#10 Mar 10, 2009
The point is, bro, the average Joe would NOT get that courtesy. Its the corrupt depts. that do...because it one of them. At for "Stop the Ignorance" just for the record..I do not work three menial jobs..that is what is called an example. What I do, Ignorance, is work in the healthcare field where I see you buddies every single day. And your buddies are not heroes. They work a job that they got because their Daddy or Uncle was a cop or fireman, and they know the bennies are good and... Oh the hero factor too!! The glory. Listen if my house is on fire I hope they come sober aznd ready to roll. If its a life I need saving..I have that covered.
Bro

AOL

#12 Mar 10, 2009
anon wrote:
The point is, bro, the average Joe would NOT get that courtesy. Its the corrupt depts. that do...because it one of them. At for "Stop the Ignorance" just for the record..I do not work three menial jobs..that is what is called an example. What I do, Ignorance, is work in the healthcare field where I see you buddies every single day. And your buddies are not heroes. They work a job that they got because their Daddy or Uncle was a cop or fireman, and they know the bennies are good and... Oh the hero factor too!! The glory. Listen if my house is on fire I hope they come sober aznd ready to roll. If its a life I need saving..I have that covered.
How's that "Hooked on Phonics" working for you? I'm gathering reading isn't a strong point either since it looks like you didn't even read the post fully. You seem to be just a little person looking for a fight, not a rational debate.
With people like you, I could care less about your feelings on the subject.
By the way, most healthcare fields require a high level of english literacy...What happened in your case? Pushing the mop at the hospital doesn't mean you're in healthcare.......
No Brainer

United States

#13 Mar 10, 2009
And Bro just keeps on posting while he judges us for doing the same. On our soapboxes right next to his. But wait, I thought they didn't treat us differntly?????
REAL DEAL

Boston, MA

#14 Mar 10, 2009
anon wrote:
Any other Joe would have been charged that day. They all knew at the scene Rautenburg was drunk..but instead, as per ususual with our dedicated brotherhood of public servants they protected this criminal until they could no longer. Shame on them. This brotherhood crap is just that..crap. It all neoptisim and cover-up. These guys aren't heroes. They have a job just like the rest of us, and only since 911 did they all become "heroes". Bull@#$*. The guy who works 3 menial jobs to support his family, and stays out of trouble and doesn't drink and drive and kill...he's the hero.
I agree with your comments 100%. What a bunch of crapola; this guy was not charged at the time of the crime! I do not drink and drive; but if I did this, I would have had the book thrown at me on the spot!

I will say it again; cops look after cops; and cops look after Firefighters. When they break the law; it goes totally unchecked; unless the crime is so outlandish; and it makes immediately into the media; before they can stop it.

Cops (and Firefighters) who break the law should have punishments that are worse than the citizens, not less. If, on the day that these public servants were sworn in to their new jobs, they were made well aware of the fact that if they broke the law the punishment would be both immediate and severe; cops and Firefighters wouldn't be so quick to disregard the law.

I knew a guy a few years back in a surrounding town. His brother was a cop in the next town over; and his stepfather was a cop in another town. This guy had already lost his license for drunk driving; but he drove anyway. Sometimes after drinking. He did get pulled over here and there; but his brother and his stepfather always kept him from getting a ticket. Anyone else would go to jail.

And, we just had the sentencing of a cop who lives in Westford Mass; who worked in Hudson NH; and who drove drunk and slammed into a mother and her daughter in Chelmsford. This piece of sh#t even drove away from the scene of his crime. He was chased by the Chelmsford PD; until he bailed out of his car and hid in the woods. They had to send the dogs in after him. He was dragged out like the piece of sh#t that he is. Even after all that; some said he is a good guy that just made a bad decision........

What a sham! It's too bad that another Firefighter had to die; in order to bring this issue light.
Stop the ignorance

Lowell, MA

#15 Mar 10, 2009
No Brainer wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Even you cannot deny that a professional courtesy was given to Jimmy as to not arrest him until after the services. How many cubicle-ite drunk drivers who killed someone are given that?
2. Leo's family should be outraged that he chose to drink to 2x+ and jeapardize not only the future of his own family unit, but the lives of every single person out on the roads in that area that day. It was not a mistake.
3. You are right in that blanket statements should not be made about anyone. Including the **** umption that non-fire/police lives are not at risk on a daily basis. Victims of drunk drivers die every day in the line of their own jobs and lives. They never know what each day will bring when they climb, sober, into their own vehicle.
4. But, this was no ordinary case of drunk driving. It involved someone TRAINED to protect and live by example. Like it or not, it IS worse when a crime is committed by those sworn to protect.
5. And, being trained, there is absolutely no way that intelligent people will buy that Leo did not know that Jimmy should not have been driving.
How dare you expect others to sit by and not show outrage at the fact that our own lives, not just Jimmy's and Leo's were put in mortal danger that day. For alcohol. At a Firefighter's Muster. People trained to serve and protect. People need to speak up, loud and clear, that we just will not be cowtowed into buying the whole 'what a good guy they are' BS. Just because someone may have done good things in their lives doesn't mean that we need to be silent over the fact that the good guy could have killed innocent people.
I appreciate your point of view, however please do not speculate over how "leo's family should be outraged". If you read my post, I clearly indicated that I believe that justice will prevail regardless of the fact that Jim is a Firefighter. I AM OUTRAGED. I am angry that Leo is gone and his family and friends will bear this heartache for a long time to come. We will never know why he got in the car or why he (or others including the employees of Wachusett) didn't take the keys-for all we know Leo may have been counting on Jim to be sober enough and didn't realize how impaired Rautenberg was. There is absolutely NO excuse and I do not believe in saying "it was a mistake" that Jim got behind the wheel. My point to "ANON" was that the stereotypes perpetuated by the ignorance of the public at large is sickening. These men and women by virtue ARE heroes simply by agreeing to put themselves in harms way for strangers. Am I saying Jim has lived up to that?? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But Leo? Anyone who was lucky enough to have met him knows what a devoted firefighter, husband, father, son, brother, and friend he was. He would give the shirt off his back for someone in need as would 99 percent of the people I have met who are in law enforcement. It sickens me that there are people out there that would disparage an entire profession based on assumptions and their own biases and NOT fact. Yes, being a human being and stepping outside our homes, we all face the possibility that we could be killed in some way-but these people knowingly enter a profession where risk and peril are part of the job. They endure things and see things that none of us should. Blaming the man who was killed, are you serious? How can an "intelligent person" say such a vile thing? In closing-I will not speculate on how Leo's family should or should not feel. I will only say that HE WAS AN AMAZING LOVING PERSON. I for one AM OUTRAGED. Justice will be served, there will be no "professional courtesy". The courts will decide Jims fate as they should. But for you to imply that Leo was in any way responsible for his own death is just plain wrong. He loved life and lived for his family. I will not visit this board again because the level of humanity is nonexistent. Leo did know better-HE wasn't behind the wheel.
No Brainer

United States

#16 Mar 10, 2009
But Leo, a trained first responder with years of knowledge and education, chose to let a drunk 'professional' not only drive, but endanger the lives of all the innocent people on the same route. You just cannot escape that fact. Yes, I and everyone else on plant, have the right to our opinions on that, and the right to post those opinions in the hope that people will finally learn to care about the innocent people they put at risk. Saying there will be no professional courtesy is a moot point - there already was, and we all watched. Jimmy deserves the brunt of responsibility, but Leo was not blameless either. He just paid the higher price for their choices. It is not vile to say so. It is not disrespectful to say to. It is not inhumane to say so. People who make the choices they did, kill people. Many people, on a daily basis. And I, among others, will continue to show absolute outrage that so called professionals, or anyone else for that matter, would have the absolute gall to endanger ours lives over their own self-centered want for copious amounts of alcohol. That's not love or respect, and it wasn't a mistake.
REAL DEAL

Boston, MA

#17 Mar 10, 2009
Stop the ignorance wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate your point of view, however please do not speculate over how "leo's family should be outraged". If you read my post, I clearly indicated that I believe that justice will prevail regardless of the fact that Jim is a Firefighter. I AM OUTRAGED. I am angry that Leo is gone and his family and friends will bear this heartache for a long time to come. We will never know why he got in the car or why he (or others including the employees of Wachusett) didn't take the keys-for all we know Leo may have been counting on Jim to be sober enough and didn't realize how impaired Rautenberg was. There is absolutely NO excuse and I do not believe in saying "it was a mistake" that Jim got behind the wheel. My point to "ANON" was that the stereotypes perpetuated by the ignorance of the public at large is sickening. These men and women by virtue ARE heroes simply by agreeing to put themselves in harms way for strangers. Am I saying Jim has lived up to that?? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But Leo? Anyone who was lucky enough to have met him knows what a devoted firefighter, husband, father, son, brother, and friend he was. He would give the shirt off his back for someone in need as would 99 percent of the people I have met who are in law enforcement. It sickens me that there are people out there that would disparage an entire profession based on assumptions and their own biases and NOT fact. Yes, being a human being and stepping outside our homes, we all face the possibility that we could be killed in some way-but these people knowingly enter a profession where risk and peril are part of the job. They endure things and see things that none of us should. Blaming the man who was killed, are you serious? How can an "intelligent person" say such a vile thing? In closing-I will not speculate on how Leo's family should or should not feel. I will only say that HE WAS AN AMAZING LOVING PERSON. I for one AM OUTRAGED. Justice will be served, there will be no "professional courtesy". The courts will decide Jims fate as they should. But for you to imply that Leo was in any way responsible for his own death is just plain wrong. He loved life and lived for his family. I will not visit this board again because the level of humanity is nonexistent. Leo did know better-HE wasn't behind the wheel.
You are aware of the Bureau of Labor Statistics; right? They publish a report every year that lists the top 15 most dangerous jobs in the US that lead to loss of life. A Firefighter does not make it into the top 15. A cop comes is at 11; however that number is deceiving. More cops die as a result of accidents (like the Mass State cop who just died) than die via homicide. It turns out that Fishermen, Timber Cutters, Airplane Pilots, Structural Steel Workers, Cab Drivers, Construction Laborers, Roofers, Electrical Workers, Truck Drivers and Farm Workers die on the job more often each year than cops or Firefighters. If cops and Firefighters should be called Heroes; than the workers I just mentioned should be called Super Heroes.

Again, the cause of death for most cops is accidents; that they cause themselves. I just read a story out of Florida where a couple of people were slammed into by a cop driving 104 mph........Is HE a HERO too?........One of his victims is in a coma.........
Friend

Medford, MA

#18 Mar 10, 2009
To those of you who are responding who are close with Leo & Karen please lets respect them both by not stooping to the level of some of the posters. As family and friends we all know Leo and we don't owe anyone an explanation as to why Leo chose to go with Jim that day. Nothing anyone says about Leo will ever change the type of person Leo was or the impact he had on the lives of so many. Leo was and always will be a person who made a difference in the lives of those he knew. Some obviously enjoy getting a rise out of Leo's family and friends, why are we bothering to respond when we all know Leo would just smile at them and walk away? We owe it to Leo and Karen to be a step above the ones who are so quick to judge. Rest in peace Leo we love and miss you!
Bro

AOL

#19 Mar 10, 2009
Friend wrote:
To those of you who are responding who are close with Leo & Karen please lets respect them both by not stooping to the level of some of the posters. As family and friends we all know Leo and we don't owe anyone an explanation as to why Leo chose to go with Jim that day. Nothing anyone says about Leo will ever change the type of person Leo was or the impact he had on the lives of so many. Leo was and always will be a person who made a difference in the lives of those he knew. Some obviously enjoy getting a rise out of Leo's family and friends, why are we bothering to respond when we all know Leo would just smile at them and walk away? We owe it to Leo and Karen to be a step above the ones who are so quick to judge. Rest in peace Leo we love and miss you!
AMEN. Those of us that do care will say no more.... RIP, Leo.
Another AMEN

Fitchburg, MA

#20 Mar 10, 2009
Trust me the perfect ones will move on to another thread and try to shove their opinion down the throats of others. In honor of Leo lets move on, it's what he would want. We can only hope that someday we will be able to be an outstanding citizen just like them. Ahhhh how life must be when you are a perfect person who has never once done something wrong, how is it up there on that pedestal?

Sunny days seem to hurt the most, we wear the pain like a heavy coat...the only thing that gives us hope is we know we'll see you again some day~ Kenny Chesney
anon

United States

#21 Mar 11, 2009
to bro: grow up.
REAL DEAL

Boston, MA

#22 Mar 11, 2009
I remember a story from quite a few years ago; a local boy got into an accident while driving drunk and the crash killed his passenger. The passenger was a close friend to the drunk driver. The driver was sent to Walpole Prison even though he was 19 years old. Lets all hope that this situation does not get handled any differently; just because the perp is a Fireman. Send him to prison; not to the Billerica House of Correction. If this State can do it to a 19 year old boy who made a mistake; this State can also do it to a 26 year old man who made the same mistake!
Resident

Medford, MA

#23 Mar 11, 2009
Anon it's easy to stir the pot when you are hiding behind a computer screen huh?

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 4
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.

Maynard Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Gross Jan 10 Billydog 1
News Ted Nugent Suggests He's Ready For Armed Revolt... (Jan '13) Nov '16 power 24
News Acton mom charged in infant son's slaying (Aug '10) Nov '16 I know more than ... 15
Hudson Girl Scout Information Session Oct '16 GSEM Recruitment 1
News Two men charged in Acton drug bust Oct '16 Oxy 1
Is there any 'ghetto' in Sudbury?? (Apr '08) Oct '16 idk 34
News Police in 8 towns get $135k grant for jail dive... (Sep '15) Sep '15 AMANDA LASSMAN 1

Maynard Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Maynard Mortgages