Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hey, better watch yer drivin' in Indiany...

...they'll nail you for speeding, DWI, and DUI . But "ordinary" negligence or "inadvertence alone"? you're home free.

Chicago Tribune Wednesday, July 4, 2007:

"No charges in fatal crash - 'Inattentive' driver's actions not criminal, Indiana prosecutor says

"ELKHART, Ind. -- The ... truck driver who plowed his semitrailer into a line of vehicles on the Indiana Toll Road in April, killing eight people, won't be criminally charged in their deaths, Indiana prosecutors said Tuesday.

"Leonardo Cooksey, 32, was trying to charge his cell phone while driving and didn't see the traffic stopped in front of him until it was too late, said Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney Curtis Hill.....

"'Mr. Cooksey's conduct was inattentive driving, not speeding, not driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs,' Hill said. 'Inadvertence alone, while an indication of negligent conduct, does not rise to the level of criminal liability, notwithstanding a catastrophic result.'

[And killing 8 people on the toll road is hardly 'catastrophic' in Indiana, is it. Mr. Prosecutor?]

"Cooksey told police that his cell phone had beeped a low-battery warning and he was fiddling with the charger....

"Lawyers in Illinois said the case's outcome likely would have been the same in Illinois, because Cooksey's actions, while unfortunate, did not constitute recklessness...."

[A midwestern thing?]

Read all 680 words at:


Arn Nelson in Chicago

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