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Driver convicted of six felonies

April 26, 2014

ESCANABA — A truck driver who caused a fatal vehicle accident in Gladstone last year, was convicted Friday of six felonies in connection with the deaths of an Escanaba couple....

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(29)

Cheesehead

Apr-29-14 6:51 PM

The reason for the death of two fine people is basically, trying to drive.

Had friends or themselves thought about 0.07 blood alcohol and intoxication, they should have elected to stay put and have someone take over the task of driving.

Certainly if this topic would have been considered more carefully, their journey would probably have been safe by the difference of a few seconds.

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BravesRock

Apr-29-14 12:05 PM

I never said it is OK to drive while impaired. I said that is not what got the Swifts killed. What killed them was a driver with a suspended license, driving a truck that was not mechanically sound, in an unsafe manner, through an intersection that is very dangerous. The amount of THC in his system is irrelevant to this case in my opinion. What the THC does show is that the trucking company was not doing an adequate job of testing and monitoring its employees. If your job is driving a vehicle that weighs several tons even when empty, then you should stay away from drugs, and your employer has a right to test you to make sure you do. I do not believe the semi driver was impaired in this case, but he very well could have been impaired at some other time while driving. And if he wasn't skilled or experienced enough to know that the truck's brakes were inadequate, then he shouldn't have been driving.

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Rulesarerules

Apr-29-14 8:23 AM

Unreal. Truck driver shouldn't have been driving! Period. Get off your high horses and acting like a judge and/or jury.

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Cheesehead

Apr-28-14 10:09 PM

Is there a legal basis in law that permits driving under the influence, especially where the blood alcohol level is so close, if not being already legally intoxicated.

Would you care to have your heart or brain surgeon working you over with a 0.07 level of blood alcohol,

maybe it would be permissible,

for your priest to give you absolution and ten hale merries for being intoxicated on xmas eve. ..

but not on the highway after mas.

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

BravesRock

Apr-28-14 9:09 PM

I think a responsible person WOULD have voted to convict, and here's why: First, the Swifts were legally in the intersection waiting to turn, and I agree that they should have a reasonable expectation of being able to be there without having to worry about being T-boned by a semi; second, they were stopped waiting to turn which implies to me that there was traffic headed east (towards them), plus the other victim's car to their right, so even if they had tried to avoid the semi, they would have had few options; and third, even if they did have somewhere to go (either in front or to the side), how many of us, stone-cold sober and at any age, would be able to react? Many, if not most, people freeze in such situations, and there's not much time to evaluate your options and react even if you don't. I am not saying it's OK to drive impaired, if they were. But that is not what got them killed, based on what I have read.

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Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:30 PM

According to published documents, people with BAC of

.030 - .090 tend to have behaviors of

- blunted feelings,

- disinhibition,

- extroversion, and may have

- impairment difficulties involving

- concentration,

- reason,

- depth perception,

- peripheral vision, and

- glare recovery.

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:25 PM

To paraphrase:

Well, there you have it. . .

The general consensus here & and in the judges mind,

is that it's acceptable here

- to drive a vehicle with 0.7 blood alcohol content,

and be kept secret

in a case involving death ?

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:24 PM

What does a BILLION mean to the average person ?

What is a BILLION more or less, between friends ?

What’s more . ..

What’s ONE BILLIONTH of something anyway, between friends . . .

and how much does it matter ?

Still,

what’s a BILLION TIMES MORE than

ONE BILLIONTH of something, and

should it matter more ?

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:23 PM

Here’s what the truck driver had residually residing in his blood of THC

1.2 NANOGRAMS of THC

NANO = one BILLIONth of a gram !

THAT’S

= 0.0000000012 of a gram of THC . . .

That’s 1.2 BILLIONTH OF A gram of THC. . .

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:22 PM

On the other hand

the auto driver had more than a billion times more alcohol in his system at whatever time the test was performed after the accident.

The drive had 0.07 blood alcohol content,

just

one one-hundredth of milliliter

LESS

then the classification as being legally intoxicated . . .

But,

this level of alcohol in the drivers’ system

is very capable of causing

impaired driving and

the driver could have been arrested and detained

if tested at the time the car was started.

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:20 PM

Why then

did da judge permit the jury to know that the truck driver

had 1.2 billionth of a gram of THC in his body , and

many more things that just as easily

could also have been construed as

IRRELEVANT

that were introduced to permit a biased view of the defendant . . .

not to allow as many items to be presented to the jury

that could have allowed

a fair, and factual image of the auto driver?

Fair and Balanced ?

HARDLY !

And to disallow evidence to be introduced to the jury that the driver had tested 0.07 BAC in his system . . .

Just one one-hundredth less than the legal limit of 0.08 BAC to be held legally drunk.

ONE BILLIONTH compared to ONE one-hundredth ?

FAIR and BALANCED ?

HARDLY !

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:16 PM

The judge,

in effect intimated

that

the fact that if the driver was tested before the accident

he could have been legally detained

and

possibly arrested . . .

but,

in the judges words . .

this was . . .

IRRELEVANT !

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:15 PM

Perhaps,

if the driver had never got into the driver's seat,

or if someone else had been driving

with zero BAC,

both would be alive today ?

RESONABLE DOUBT ?

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:14 PM

The judge saw to that outcome by

denying evidence that would clearly be interpreted as providing the basis for

RESONABLE DOUBT

that the driver could have been impaired

with one, or some of the following conditions:

2 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:11 PM

- peripheral vision, and

- glare recovery.

- blunted feelings,

- it is important to remember the accident happened March 20, at 08:21 pm . . .

- was the intersection at that time of the year in total darkness,

- did there exist any glare from on coming lights,

- was there anything going on inside of or outside his car, to distract or impair the driver from proceeding with caution at this dangerous intersection . . .

- could depth perception and other things cause driver impairment.

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:10 PM

Had a reasonable person

been made aware of the fact that the driver was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol

indicated by a test to be just

one-one-hundredth of a point

less than legal intoxication,

a reasonable person would not vote to convict

because of a possible doubt that their may have been contributing circumstances brought into question regarding possible alcohol induced impairment

the driver may have been experiencing . . .

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-28-14 5:08 PM

A REASONABLE PERSON HAS TO WONDER

- BEYOND A DOUBT

- Beyond a Shadow of Doubt . . .

- 1) Why or what motivated the judge to shelter the jury from facts that might have proved prejudicial regarding the conduct of the automobile driver,

- in view of the circumstance that he was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol ?

- 2) Why or what motivated the judge to allow,

by way of contrast,

- more prejudicial information to be introduced against the truck driver,

and

- not the intoxicated auto driver ?

- 3) Why or what motivated the daily press

- not to present the facts, and

- to shelter the jury from the facts,

- that otherwise if presented,

- may have led to a different outcome,

- especially since other media reported the facts ?

- 4) WHEN THE DEFENSE WILL CALL FOR

- A MISTRIAL or APPEAL ?

2 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

WhoWee

Apr-28-14 11:20 AM

Well, there you have it. The general consensus here & on TV6's webpage is that it's acceptable here to drive an unsafe logging truck with obvious bad brakes and no license, be unable to stop and kill two people and maim a third. Mete out no punishment or minimal punishment for a myriad of reasons. He chose to have a trial by jury and was found guilty, but in this world no one is responsible for anything anymore, except the victims. And they already paid the price, so let's just leave it alone and go on with our lives. Interesting views, but I wonder how it works when the shoe is on the other foot.

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dannydods

Apr-28-14 1:03 AM

i dont think he should get prison time. he didnt try to kill anyone. yes he may have been reckless and made some big mistakes, but putting him in prison isnt going to solve anything. hes gotta live with this for the rest of his life, im sure he feels terrible. the thc in his system should never have been brought up unless he smelled or looked like he was high. it stays in your system for a very long time. what about old people taking pills causing accidents? they never get blamed for being on drugs. i say give him about 9 months in jail along with fines and restitution that the courts see fit.

just because lives get ruined, doesn't mean we should continue to ruin or make lives of others worse. especially when they show and truely are remorseful for what they did. this kid has a family too that needs to be taken into consideration.

4 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:51 AM

Would the jury have reached a different verdict,

- if the jury knew

- what the judge knew

- what was NOT made Public by the PRESS

and

- WHAT THE JUDGE SUPPRESSED

- while THE JUDGE UNDERSTOOD

- that this detail would have raised

THE IDEA of REASONABLE DOUBT?

the all important question that a judge in Michigan is required to give to a jury to convict:

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:50 AM

Beyond a reasonable doubt ?

Beyond a shadow of doubt ?

We’ve all heard these terms.

But really,

did the

JUDGE BIAS or ERROR

in this case by

PREVENTING

all of the

KNOWN EVIDENCE

to be openly exposed and presented to the jury?

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:50 AM

Was the judge knowledgeable, acquainted, friends of the victims,

and thus should have RECUSED himself from the case?

Would the JUDGE'S suppressed EVIDENCE,

if known by the jury,

create in a jury member a

REASONABLE DOUBT ?

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:48 AM

According to the currently posted:

Michigan Model Criminal Jury Instructions

M Criminal JI 3.2

Presumption of Innocence

Burden of Proof, and

Reasonable Doubt . . .

Accordingly these instructions are required to be given in every case:

1) A person ACCUSED of a crime IS PRESUMED to be INNOCENT.

- This means that you must start with the presumption that the defendant is innocent.

- This presumption continues throughout the trial and entitles the defendant to a verdict of

NOT GUILTY

unless you are satisfied

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

that [he/she] is guilty.

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:46 AM

2) Every crime is made up of parts called elements.

- The prosecutor must prove each element of the crime

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

- The defendant is not required to prove [his/her] innocence

or to do anything.

- If you find that the prosecutor has

NOT PROVEN EVERY ELEMENT

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

- THEN YOU MUST FIND THE DEFENDANT NOT GUILTY.

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Whizzywhig

Apr-27-14 10:43 AM

3) A reasonable doubt is a fair, honest doubt growing out of the evidence or LACK OF EVIDENCE.

- It is not an imaginary or possible doubt,

but a doubt based on reason and common sense.

A reasonable doubt is:

- a doubt that is reasonable,

- after a careful and considered

- examination of the facts and circumstances of this case.

4 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

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