I completely agree. No matter how "safe" we try to engineer and build our roads and highways,*somebody* will find a way to either kill themselves and/or somebody else. Weather conditions, congestion, careless/reckless driving habits from some drivers are things that can't be controlled. I can't believe that so many drivers and passengers are still getting killed because they REFUSE to wear a seat belt these days.The government cannot protect everyone from all potential hazards on public roads, especially easily avoidable ones such as the ramp in question. If the driver had been following the law, those children would all be anticipating a happy Thanksgiving. Because of the driver's actions, they will not be doing so.
Nobody even mentions the FACT that this driver also put all of the RESCUERS at RISK, because of her actions. Diving into cold, murky, muddy water, when it's dark has to be very difficult, no matter how brave or skilled or experienced the rescuer is, not to mention dangerous.
If the roads were snow covered or icy, I could *maybe* understand how that car ended up in the water, but on that day, at that time,
at that location, they were NOT. Some keep trying to say that it was snowing at the time. Not likely, when the weather in the Twin Cities showed a temperature of about 37 degrees F, and the ground was NOT frozen from previous non-subfreezing temperatures.
As a driver, you are ultimately responsible for yourself, your passengers, and OTHERS on the road. It is not a responsibility that should be taken lightly. When an inexperienced driver operates a car, with no valid license or insurance, and people die as a result, there should be a substantial penalty. That intersection and ramp is not a "highway speed" area. I went down there myself and got a pretty good look at the "accident" scene.
I noticed all of the signs, including the speed limit on Hwy 7, saw no skid marks from the car that plunged into the water, the ramp was *TWO* marked lanes wide, and the pavement was in good condition (no noticable cracks or potholes). This was a completely avoidable "accident". It wasn't even a 90 degree right turn to get on that ramp, more like 60-70 degrees.
The "black box" in the car will tell investigators a LOT, and they don't lie, and since the car was 16 years old, I doubt that it handled like a ZR1 Corvette.
Think of all of the costs involved. The funerals, the investigation, the hospital care of the three who survived, etc.
I hear it costs about $10,000 a for ONE person to stay in an ICU for ONE day. That may be a *low* figure. This was a very COSTLY "accident", and I'm not just talking about dollars here, but the hospital bill for the 3 kids who survived will easily top $100,000.
Who pays for that, especially with no auto insurance on the car?
If you get hit by a bolt of lightning, that is an accident, unless you are standing in a thunderstorm holding a long, steel rod. If you suddenly have a heart attack, without warning, while driving on an interstate, that is an accident. If you suddenly drive over a road covered with nails, and all your tires blow out, and you crash, that is an accident. If a deer jumps in front of your car at night and you hit it, that is an accident. Big difference between the examples I've listed and what happened HERE.