23 June 2006

Do Not Pass Go!

A while back, I had one of those shifts that make you grind your teeth.
I published a blog-post that might have gotten me in trouble with my company,
or with the victims involved.

This is a slightly revised version of that post.
The passage of time makes it less traceable, but the thrust and emotion of the post remain. Here's a review of that shift:

Our first flight was to a hospital 15 minutes from our base.
A van loaded with 7 people, 4 of them kids, left the highway at 70 miles per hour and rolled over several times, ejecting children like popcorn out of a commercial popcorn machine.
Our patient was a 2 year old male with multiple traumatic injuries. We transported him to one of the Children's hospitals in Bigtown, where he'll recover after an extended period of care.
He'll have casts on both arms and one leg.
Bumps, bruises, and lacerations are gonna make this tiny guy sore for quite a while.
His 5 year old brother and 6 month old sister were also transported by helicopter to Children's hospitals.

How is it possible these kids were ejected? Did their carseats/seatbelts fail?


We all know the answer to that question........
these parents failed at Parenting 101, but bred anyway.

The kids were all playing in the cargo space behind the seats.
When the van started it's 70 mph tumble, the kids were in God's hands.
It's a miracle the van didn't roll over and crush any of them.

The phone rang again 30 minutes after we had completed our paperwork on this flight.
We were dispatched in exactly the opposite direction of our first flight, to another hospital just 17 minutes away by helicopter.

Our patient was a 30 year old male, also involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident.
State Troopers tried to stop his car for suspicion of drunk driving.........he ran from them.

Upon arrival, we find a 25-ish Hispanic Male who cannot speak English. He has nothing in the way of documentation.
He left the roadway at a high rate of speed and struck a tree.
He was wearing his seatbelt, but on arrival at the ER he's going in and out of conciousness so the Doctor worries he might have a head injury. He reeks of "the scent normally associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages".....(inside joke).

The two State Troopers that tried to stop him are hanging out in the ER.
I walk over and ask them about my previous flight:

"When parents don't secure their children in automobiles, and the kids are injured in an accident,
why don't those folks GO TO JAIL?"

"Prosecutors won't pursue those cases. They feel the parents are punished enough watching their kids suffering."

Pardon me?
That's Male Bovine Excrement!

Driving around with your children unsecured in your car is called "parental neglect".
Those parents should go to jail.......
their kids, seriously hurt because of lack of parental care, should be handed over to someone that values them as human beings.

In my view, the only way we are gonna protect children and convince parents to abide by the seatbelt/carseat laws is to put those that break the law behind bars........
after a few high-profile cases make the news, obeying the law will make more sense for the rest!

And isn't it timely......with all the marches and attention devoted to illegal invaders crossing our borders on the news these days, we had an undocumented subject here in the middle of the U.S., breaking the law, putting our law enforcement personnel and others on the road at terrible risk.

I think DUI is one of the offenses that results in quick deportation, so this guy probably got a free trip home when he was released from the hospital.

Please don't ask me who paid for his hospital care,
(and the huge bill for the EMS helicopter!)

All in all, it was an interesting, albeit frustrating, night.



I've heard that argument before about the parents having already suffered enough.

My reply is: If a parent were to beat a child to the point of hospitalization, would the DA still say the parent has suffered enough watching his child suffer with all those injuries?

Think about it.

Di said...

Once I was driving from a parking lot from the location where my daughter took gymnastics. Ahead of us was another car full of children...appeared to be a carpool from the same location. When we reached the stop sign at the intersection of a main highway and the street coming from the parking lot, I witnessed one of the worst cases ever of neglect. A child literally fell out of the window from the backseat of the car behind the passenger's seat, tumbled down into a ditch, and the driver kept going, never knowing the child was even missing. The child was Asian, the lady who came back, finally, was not, so I assumed the child was either adopted or carpooling. No matter, this is not a woman I'd want to transfer the care of my child to. We had stopped to wait with the frantic child, and when the lady arrived, she would not speak to us, did not even acknowledge that we were there, even as we tried to converse with her. She just grabbed the child and fled.

I have no idea what happened after that. I don't really know if the child was injured, etc. We did take a tag number and called the authorities. It's likely nothing was done to this woman. I'd say both the child and the woman were fortunate in this case, but many things could have gone wrong....you can speculate right along with me....the ditch was right beside a very busy highway, not to mention the traffic behind her when the child fell out.

The memory of the sight of that scene haunts me to this day. I'm with you...some people should not parent, for starters, but regardless, when neglect is so blatant, provide due punishment!!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine thinks parents who smoke with their kids in the car should be charged with child abuse.

And what about parents who back over little Timmy with the minivan? It's a pretty common occurrence.

The real issue here is that people are too comfortable with motor vehicles - they don't see them as the deadly weapon they are.

Interestingly, in Ohio, if a lawyer forgets and leaves a gun in his breifcase or something and walks into a courthouse, that might result in a felony.

But if someone negligently wrecked their car into the courthouse they'd only be charged with "failure to control".

The car carelessly brought into the courtroom is much more dangerous than the gun carelessly brought into the courtroom.

Ideally with the gun, the attourney, upon noticing his mistake should notify a bailiff and have it discreetly removed.

I think we need to consider intent a lot more in our laws. People make mistakes, but when they make innocent mistakes with guns they recieve penalties many times harsher than negligent mistakes with motor vehicles.

Another thing to ponder - if someone threatened to shoot you with a gun you'd call the cops and they'd be charged with aggrevated menacing.

But if you're in traffic or in a crosswalk and someone threatens you with their car, it's almost a non-event. Most folks wouldn't press aggrevated menacing charges against a driver who did that.