Plea hearing today in Taylor crash

Plea hearing today in Taylor crash

There are 57 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from May 29, 2007, titled Plea hearing today in Taylor crash. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

A trucker accused of causing a crash that killed four students and a staff member from Taylor University and led to the misidentification of two of the victims might plead guilty today to charges in the wreck.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

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Question

Shirley, IN

#1 May 29, 2007
I have a question. Do we know if any of the passengers were wearing seatbelts? Our church van is similar to the van the students were riding in, and no one seems to care about using the seatbelts which are in the van. I was wondering if this made a difference in those who survived the Taylor crash. Please know I am not trying to place any blame AT ALL. My heart breaks every time I think about this crash and every time I see the crosses along I-69. I just want to know for my own reference.
David

United States

#2 May 29, 2007
This Truck Driver has no choice but to take a plea deal with the prosecutors office. There is no way he would receive a fair and impartial trial with all the publicity this case has received. It is a terrible tragedy this accident occured, and the mistakes made by the authorities just compounded the problems, however, it was an accident and not a deliberate act. Had this happened to an unknown group traveling down the highway, we would have never heard about it. I am so sorry for the families of the victims, I just don't think it's right this driver cannot get a fair trial because of who was involved and the publicity this case has received because of who was involved.
Answer

Indianapolis, IN

#3 May 29, 2007
I did a search of various statewide newspaper reports and there was exactly ONE mention of seat-belts in a Star story that said several of those in the crash were ejected and police were "unclear" on whether they were wearing belts.

Interesting that it never came up again since that is an item that police and reporters always ask about.
Wow

United States

#4 May 29, 2007
2 to 8 years
He Broke the Law

Louisville, KY

#5 May 29, 2007
David wrote:
This Truck Driver has no choice but to take a plea deal with the prosecutors office. There is no way he would receive a fair and impartial trial with all the publicity this case has received. It is a terrible tragedy this accident occured, and the mistakes made by the authorities just compounded the problems, however, it was an accident and not a deliberate act. Had this happened to an unknown group traveling down the highway, we would have never heard about it. I am so sorry for the families of the victims, I just don't think it's right this driver cannot get a fair trial because of who was involved and the publicity this case has received because of who was involved.
According the the paper, "Authorities say Spencer had driven at least nine hours more than allowed under federal rules before he fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the crash on the highway about midway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne."

This was not an "accident" he broke the law and should pay the consequences.
Jim Phillips

Cardington, OH

#6 May 29, 2007
It's just such a terrible accident. I hope that Mr. Spencer can be shown some mercy and have a second chance with his life. So many evil people in the world go unpunished and the unlucky guy in the spotlight takes it on the chin. He has to pay a price. I just hope he can hang on and return to a somewhat normal life, unlike the poor victims.
cts

Indianapolis, IN

#7 May 29, 2007
if this guy wasnt drunk how on earth could he get 24 years??

some murderers get less time
sad story

United States

#8 May 29, 2007
David wrote:
This Truck Driver has no choice but to take a plea deal with the prosecutors office. There is no way he would receive a fair and impartial trial with all the publicity this case has received. It is a terrible tragedy this accident occured, and the mistakes made by the authorities just compounded the problems, however, it was an accident and not a deliberate act. Had this happened to an unknown group traveling down the highway, we would have never heard about it. I am so sorry for the families of the victims, I just don't think it's right this driver cannot get a fair trial because of who was involved and the publicity this case has received because of who was involved.
2 kids were mowed down earlier this year by a lady who dozed off at the wheel and who said that she was really sleepy while she was driving. 1 of those kids died and the other was in critical condition. She walked away from that crime scene and no charges were filed! We have yet to hear if the other child survived. This family was from Somolia and had just recently moved here. Where is the justice in these situations?
Bill

Clemson, SC

#9 May 29, 2007
David wrote:
This Truck Driver has no choice but to take a plea deal with the prosecutors office. There is no way he would receive a fair and impartial trial with all the publicity this case has received. It is a terrible tragedy this accident occured, and the mistakes made by the authorities just compounded the problems, however, it was an accident and not a deliberate act. Had this happened to an unknown group traveling down the highway, we would have never heard about it. I am so sorry for the families of the victims, I just don't think it's right this driver cannot get a fair trial because of who was involved and the publicity this case has received because of who was involved.
You think this was an accident? If that IDIOT truck driver had been following the rules and gotten off the road when he was supposed to, there would have been no accident. In my opinion, he got what he deserved.
Kumar

Tipton, IN

#10 May 29, 2007
Congrats on manning up. Not many people take the blame anymore, or are forced to plead not guilty to get a lesser sentence.

For all the people that will crow --he broke the law etc etc, then perhaps everyone driving 1 mph over the speed limit causing death in an accident should have the book thrown at them too?

About the seatbelt issues, I don't think it mattered. Sadly, the van was sliced in half.
Hmmm

Memphis, TN

#11 May 29, 2007
While the trucker drove 9 hours longer than he should have, really this was an accident. It was poor judgement and one he most likely would never repeat. However, suspend his CDL licenses for life, give him one year (with time served) in jail and call it a day. Yes, it was a horrific tradegy, but NO ONE is served by his being given a lengthy jail sentence. More time is only revenge, but the accident was not purposeful. Revenge never brought a sole back to their loved ones. I'd feel the same even if one on my own had been in the van. That doesn't mean I do not love my own any less by any means.
Hmmm

Memphis, TN

#12 May 29, 2007
Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
You think this was an accident? If that IDIOT truck driver had been following the rules and gotten off the road when he was supposed to, there would have been no accident. In my opinion, he got what he deserved.
But then again, you are a revengeful person, not a reasoning human.
Boomer52

Utica, KY

#13 May 29, 2007
This Truckdriver was breaking the Law and should be punished. What about the Company that He was working for? They not only knew that He was violating his Hours of service they were probably pushing Him to do it.If Truckdrivers were paid by the hour instead of by the mile or trip this sort of thing would not happen.
Hmmm

Memphis, TN

#14 May 29, 2007
He Broke the Law wrote:
<quoted text>
According the the paper, "Authorities say Spencer had driven at least nine hours more than allowed under federal rules before he fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the crash on the highway about midway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne."

This was not an "accident" he broke the law and should pay the consequences.
Look, truckers serve a valuable need in this country, but again they have a trucker's mentality. This is not an attack on all truckers, but most are not necessarily the the best minds out there or most responsible.

Gil

“White Hoosier Conservative ”

Since: Apr 07

Fishers, Indiana

#15 May 29, 2007
Okay, he broke the law, but 24 years for falling asleep at the wheel. Does a drunk driver get this much?
Question

Shirley, IN

#16 May 29, 2007
[QUOTE who="Kumar"About the seatbelt issues, I don't think it mattered. Sadly, the van was sliced in half.
[/QUOTE]

Ooo. I didn't know that. Such a tragedy.
REALITY CHECK

Wooster, OH

#17 May 29, 2007
Nobody made him drive a gigantic piece of equipment at 60 mph or so. It is a dangergous thing to do. Consequently, when you do dangerous things, you have to be careful that you pay attention, so that you don't hurt others with your dangerous equipment. He IGNORED the danger, and that CARELESSNESS led to the DEATH of other innocent people. It's called ACCOUNTABILITY. If you aren't willing to be accountable for your actions, then you shouldn't engage in those actions. The mere fact that lots of people drive semi-trucks does not lessen the level of danger that they represent. The government, looking out for the safety of American citizens who use the roadways for transportation, passed a LAW that limits the amount of hours that a person can operate this VERY DANGEROUS EQUIPMENT in order to protect others. This person CHOSE to violate the law. He killed and maimed innocents. Why shouldn't he be sentenced just like anybody else who uses a dangerous piece of equipment, like a gun, chainsaw, etc. in a reckless manner and that recklessness results in bodily injury or death?
word

Indianapolis, IN

#18 May 29, 2007
Drunk drivers killing someone face up to 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances. Many won't serve even 1/3 of that either.
Chris

Indianapolis, IN

#19 May 29, 2007
He Broke the Law wrote:
<quoted text>
According the the paper, "Authorities say Spencer had driven at least nine hours more than allowed under federal rules before he fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the crash on the highway about midway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne."
This was not an "accident" he broke the law and should pay the consequences.
Then if federal rules say this about someone drivers "working", it should be the same for drivers on "personal" trips also. This is just stupid.
Mom and Dad

Decatur, IL

#20 May 29, 2007
Was there ever an investigation of the company that made this truck driver go over his number of hours?

Everybody in this industry knows that its the companies that make these men and women drive long hours and falsify their logs.

The truckedriver should be shown mercy.

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