Pedestrian hit on Water Street

Dangerous crossing? A pedestrian was hit near this Water Street crossing around 3pm today.
PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

"He ran right out in front of her, kind of fast walking, and he wasn't in the crosswalk," explained eyewitness Joseph DeMarco, describing how it was that a young, 18-20-year old white male was hit by a car around 3pm today as he tried to cross Water Street between the Omni Hotel and Lewis & Clark Square. " He was tossed about 10 to 15 feet in the air," DeMarco continued," and came down right on her windshield. It was like he just jumped straight up in the air, because he came down feet first on her windshield."

At the scene, a young woman standing next to a Toyota Prius was crying while Charlottesville police interviewed witnesses. DeMarco identified the woman as the one who hit the young man. "He ran right out in front of her," he said again.

Police on the scene said they weren't authorized to make statements to the press. As this reporter snapped photos of the scene, renowned author John Grisham arrived and began speaking to the distraught young woman and the police officer interviewing her. When a Hook reporter identified himself and began to ask questions, Grisham said, "No comment, no comment, no comment" as he dialed his cell phone, and the police officer ordered this reporter to step away.

The area has long been such a concern to traffic engineers that even when pedestrians utilize the crosswalk, they're encouraged to use the do-it-yourself lighting system installed in early 2005.

No official word yet from the police on the condition of the man who was hit, but DeMarco said he appeared to be conscious and not too badly hurt when he was taken away in the ambulance.

Update 11/5/08: According to City spokesperson Ric Barrick, the pedestrian was treated and
released from UVa Medical Center.

"The accident is still under investigation," said Barrick. "No charges have been filed, but that is still a possibility pending the investigation."

Because no one has been charged, Barrick said the names of the pedestrian and the driver would not be released.

66 comments

Very interesting. You initiated a conversation with John Grisham, and the Gestapo told you step away? On what authority?

Stupid pedestrians. No one should be allowed to walk. It distracts drivers from their phone conversations.

What I don't understand is why he didn't use the light system? What is he stupid?

I hope if i ever hit someone John Grisham shows up to comfort me.

What were the questions being asked to Grisham? Were other people asked questions too? If Grisham was being singled out I'd say his presence was irrelevant to the accident unless he was involved some how. I'd say probably not. Who else was there...do we need to know? Do we care? Rambo might but I don't.

I guess we should just be happy the county or city police took driver safety courses so we didnt have to read about them hitting anyone.

quote: "I guess we should just be happy the county or city police took driver safety courses so we didnt have to read about them hitting anyone."

Are you new in town? I guess you dont know the police recently ran over a wheelchair bound pedestrian in a crosswalk? And the police almost ran over a young couple in a crosswalk downtown. Maybe the police need to take a few mnore driver safety courses, the first ones didn't seem to set in very well.

Well, I think what happened is John's daughter was the one driving the prius and he was there being a father. I don't think he would of stopped just because, when there are reporters and cops already on the scene.

Sick, I agree with you on this one about Huh??? being from out of town, cops in this area are horrible drivers.But then again who isn't in this town. My respect goes out to those who stop on the side of the road to talk or text, go the speed limit on back roads, and use turn signals before they actually enter their lane of choice, or use them at all!!

you guys must have not had your java. my comment was based on the lack of recent reports of cops mowing down peds.

As a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver downtown, Charlottesville has the worst pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way once they are in the crosswalk. They do not have the right (or body armor) to walk out in front of an oncoming car. This town can be pedestrian friendly, and not have drivers jam on their brakes every block. Sometimes people have to wait a few seconds before crossing. It' really bad for fuel efficiency to stop repeatedly, not to mention dangerous. If the drivers behind the ones who stop don't stop, the pedestrian is at an increased rick. My SIL was hit 3 months after giving birth by a speeding driver who swerved to avoid hitting another car. She was not at fault, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. She'll never be able to perform the way she did before the accident. We are going to continue to have accidents until everyone is educated, and the current culture is changes.

http://www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=1286

When you see me standing on a corner, do not stop for me. I will wait until it is safe to cross. Having you stop is one thing, but being sure that the driver on the other side and all of the other drivers in vicinity are aware of me is not a risk I am willing to take. Check out the

i think ol' Johnny boy may have been layin down some swagger on the emotionally vulnerable girl. all he has to say is, "Hey baby, you ok? Here, have an autographed copy of A Time To Kill. Wanna grab a quick one at South St?"

quote: "my comment was based on the lack of recent reports of cops mowing down peds."

Nope, you simply stuck your foot in your mouth when you suggested cops are highly trained and don't run over pedestrians. In 4 recent pedestrian events in The Hook, 2 involved cops. That's 50% ya know.

Was Grisham telling the press the girl had no comment? What is he some kind of superhero who runs around town picking up clients for a new secret mega law firm?

If I ever run over a bicyclist on Rt 53 late one night after consuming a fifth of cheap vodka, and the bicyclist happens to NOT be John Grisham, I hope he walks out of the woods and helps me out.

Service-With-A-Smile's question caused me to read the article again. So, I withdraw my Gestapo question above. Upon reading the article again I see where the driver and Grisham were both talking to the police officer. The cop would therefore have the right to ask you to step away.

I do applaud the witness for hanging around and speaking to the cop too. Most people don't like to get involved lately.

Tara,
I agree that many people are terrible pedestrians. If the witness' description of this accident is accurate the pedestrian is at fault and probably should be charged. Pedestrians and drivers both do stupid things that make some accidents impossible to avoid. I'm sorry that your SIL was hit by a speeding driver. I do hope that the driver was charged, fined and penalized as much as possible.

I have to disagree with you though when you write that pedestrians "...do not have the right... to walk out in front of an oncoming car." Pedestrians have a right to walk out in front of oncoming cars as long as the car is far enough away and able to stop safely. Pedestrians don't have the right to walk out into traffic with reckless disregard for oncoming vehicles. I walk (and drive) a lot around this town but I don't walk out in front of cars that can't stop and I watch the cars as I cross. It would take forever for me to get anywhere, especially during rush hour, if I had to wait until there was no oncoming traffic. As both a pedestrian and a driver I am cautious, courteous and, when appropriate, assertive. I am not inattentive, hesitant or reckless. I regularly walk out into traffic when it's safe and cars stop and yield to me and they never get hit from behind by the following vehicle. Stop and go driving is a reality in the city. Drivers must be prepared to stop. Cars have brake lights to warn following vehicles that they are slowing down.
You also wrote, "When you see me standing on a corner, do not stop for me." Well, I'll try not to stop for you. I've learned that just because a person is standing next to the street doesn't mean they want to cross. Many times I have stopped and waited for pedestrians who were standing on a curb at a crosswalk and they never moved because they didn't want to cross the street or they were waiting until no cars were approaching. As I slowed to stop they turned away and looked the other way to see when that direction might be completely clear of oncoming vehicles.

I've stepped in front of oncoming traffic here many times in the last 40 years and I've never been hit and a following car has never struck the vehicles that stopped for me.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

Eye contact. Before you step onto a crosswalk make eye contact with the approaching driver. Wave. Be friendly. Get them to wave back. Or, you might leave instructions for your executor to write 'Pedestrians Have The Right of Way' on your tombstone.

Hi Kevin,

I wish you luck in stepping out into oncoming traffic, but won't be compromising my health and safety by doing so myself. I am no match for the force and weight of a vehicle combined with the shortfalls of other drivers. Also, although I'm an attentive driver, I have been in some scary situations as a result of careless pedestrians in Charlottesville. These experiences are likely due to the local pedestrian culture, which imparts an unparalleled sense of naivet© and entitlement. I believe in education as prevention.

We probably won't agree on this, so I'll perhaps the best thing to do is to refer to the Charlottesville pedestrian laws below:

"Crossing Rules" for Pedestrians
ALWAYS follow these steps when crossing a street:
Always use a marked crosswalk when one is available. The bright white lines of a crosswalk remind motorists to look out for pedestrians.
STOP at the CURB, edge of road, corner, or parked vehicle before proceeding across.
Look left-right-left, and if it's CLEAR, begin crossing.
Continue to check for traffic in all directions, especially for vehicles turning "Right-on-Red".
If there is traffic, make eye contact with the driver/s so they see you, understand your intention, and STOP before you start to cross.

Sincerely,
Tara FitzPatrick

Tara,
I don't count on luck to protect me when I cross the street. I pay attention and I watch the drivers. I've never been hit.
What you refer to as "Charlottesville pedestrian laws" are not actually laws. The city web page writer may call what you posted "crossing rules" but that's misleading and should be changed. There is no law, state or local, that says pedestrians are required to come to a stop before stepping into the street. At many crosswalks it is perfectly safe and practical to look both ways and to keep walking before stepping into the street. It's not necessary to stop. There is also no law that requires pedestrians to wait until the road is clear. In fact the law specifically requires vehicles to yield, demonstrating the anticipation that pedestrians will enter a crosswalk even when vehicles are approaching.
Do you always wait until the street is clear before crossing? What if you are preparing to cross the street and you see an oncoming car a half block away moving at about 25 mph. Do you wait for that car to pass or do you go ahead and cross the street? One problem here is that the phrase "walking in front of oncoming traffic" is a euphemism for stepping in front of cars that are too close. I step into the street in front of oncoming cars all the time and they stop. I see pedestrians crossing the street when I'm in my car and I stop and yield to them. It works the way it should.
I hope that more pedestrians become assertive, courteous and responsible. Drivers need to see pedestrians who stop when they're supposed to and cross the street properly when they have the right to do it. Letting cars dominate even when they should yield encourages drivers to believe that pedestrians never have rights.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

Virginia law protects both the driver and pedestrian, IMHO.
Driver's rights are in bold text below:

Virginia State Code § 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.

A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.

Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.

quote: "There is no law, state or local, that says pedestrians are required to come to a stop before stepping into the street."

I have to disagree here. In the Virginia state code I just posted above it clearly says... -No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.-

I routinely drive a 7,800 pound SUV factory built on a one ton truck suspension. It is classified by title and registration as a truck. If I am running 25 mph on East Market Street and I am 30 feet from entering a crosswalk, the pedestrian most certainly does have an obligation to stop. For the pedestrian not to stop is a total disregard to approaching traffic because Virginia state code § 46.2-1067 says it will take me 40 feet to stop from 25 mph. All of this of course would be legal argument should a pedestrian get hit by my vehicle and claim I was at fault for not stopping.

As far as this particular news report and incident, if the Prius was running the speed limit (25) it needed 25 feet to stop according to § 46.2-1067

ps - If you want to see something even more frightening, read Virginia state code section § 46.2-880.

It gives cars 85 feet to stop from 25 mph, and it gives trucks 95 feet to stop from 25 mph.

Sick,
I can watch traffic and enter an intersection carefully while walking without coming to a complete stop. The law doesn't say that I always have to stop. As you posted, it says, "No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.-" I can watch traffic without stopping. Certainly there are times when I have to stop but it doesn't mean I must always stop at the curb... and so I don't. Still, I don't step in front of vehicles that don't have time or distance enough to stop... and that would include your SUV moving 25 mph and thirty feet away. If you have the distance and speed to stop though, I will step out into the street while I watch you and, if you are like almost all drivers, you will stop and let me pass.

I think the law is pretty reasonable and well thought out. If only the police would enforce it and obey it themselves. Just this morning I saw a CPD car make a right turn on red without stopping and then have to put the pedal to the floor because he turned directly into the path of a JAUNT van at Ninth and East Market. He didn't have lights and siren on.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

quote: "I don’t step in front of vehicles that don’t have time or distance enough to stop”Š and that would include your SUV moving 25 mph and thirty feet away."

Well, of course you wouldn't step out in front of a large heavy vehicle when they're 30 feet away, you seem like an intelligent person. My remarks are more to those pedestrians who automatically think/assume they have the right of way under any and all circumstances. Legally, they don't have the right of way if they show a total disregard to the laws governing the stopping distances of cars and trucks. They clearly have an obligation under state law to stop walking rather than stepping into a crosswalk and daring somebody to run over them. I think you have probably seen the "go ahead, I dare you to hit me" type of individuals I am talking about. If you, as a driver, are 15 to 20 feet away they will step into the crosswalk almost every time and force the driver to stop or hit them. I almost tagged a young lady the other night at the library who jogged to the crosswalk and attempted to step out in front of me. I did not have time to stop and she jerked herself out of the crosswalk at the last possible second. My passenger was actually injured by her seat belt because of this moron flirting with danger at a crosswalk.

Now as far as the police car you saw violating the law, I bet he also had a cell phone up to their ear? :)

Rambo, you really do not know it all as you pretend. I'm not sure what your reading comprehension is but to know exactly what I was stating based on the way you chose to interpret it shows you arrogance. No "foot in mouth" here. ;) Since you seem to know everything about what others are thinking and doing when you are not even witness to it, perhaps you can tell me what I'm thinking now? Good luck!

quote: "...perhaps you can tell me what I’m thinking now?"

Of course I can. You're thinking you sure told that Rambo off and put him in his place. I have to agree with you too, you slapped me around like a little red headed stepchild.

But contrary to what you claimed above, the fact remains that cops have been involved in 50% of the pedestrian events recently reported in The Hook. There was a cop vs a wheelchair bound pedestrian, a cop vs 2 pedestrians on Water Street, a dump truck vs a wheelchair bound lady, and now a Toyota Prius vs a jogger. The driver safety courses you praised above didn't work for a few cops.

I'm sorru Huh??? your right though, the local police have done a pretty good job at maintaing an EXPECTED service level and driving record. let us all knock on wood

hey, at least they're not rascists!! (joke)

quote: "....the local police have done a pretty good job at maintaing an EXPECTED service level and driving record..."

Are you new to the area too? Perhaps you need to be brought up to speed on how many pedestrians have been KILLED on Rio Road alone in recent history by Albemarle County police officers.

I like how we all come back to these articles to see what everyone is commenting on. Especially you Sick, I always look forward to reading what you think. I dont always agree but I always respect your input.

that's the one thing I love about this site, even though we bicker with each other sometimes, this site allows us to come together as a community and discuss current events in, usually, a civilized manner. Kudos Hook!

sick, I moved here from Los Angeles at the ripe age of 11 back in 98. I was quite blissful to local news up until around 05, when i turned 18.

question for you Sick, have you ever been on a ride along with an officer? It's quite the enjoyable experience if your with the right officer. Granted I rode along with an Orange County Sherriff's Deputy (k-9 unit!!), it did provide a lot of insight and understanding in what a police officer goes through.

I mean you gotta think, statistics are HEAVILY against police officers being in any motor vehicle accident because of the time they spend behind the wheel. Also, they are a group of paranoid contables. The officer I rode along with told me that 80% of a cops career is boring, 15% scary, and 5% scared $hitless!

I'm not trying to justify the fact that two police officers struck pedestrians this year, I'm just trying to send out the message that these guys go through a lot *trying* to keep us safe. us critisizing them probably won't help. especially when there A LOT of good cops still on these roads

*constables*

oh and Sick, one more thing. I do remember about the lady that was killed by an Albemarle Co. officer, who admitted to being on her cell phone, on Hydraulic last year. I actually knew the deceased woman. She was very humble and quite religious.

"If you, as a driver, are 15 to 20 feet away they will step into the crosswalk almost every time and force the driver to stop or hit them." Is the pedestrian here being "assertive?"
I wonder if the car was traveling in the eastbound lane which has a blind corner due to the siting of the Lewis and Clark building.

A pedestrian who steps out in front of a car that is 15-20 feet away is stupid.

The sight distance for the eastbound lane is fine. There is plenty of stopping distance from where the drivers first can see the crosswalk as they come down the hill. I cross there every day and eastbound drivers have no problem seeing me and stopping.

If the witness' description is correct, and it sounds believable to me, this accident was only the fault of the pedestrian and not the crossing or the driver.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

The proper way to cross a street is to enter the crosswalk at the curb to show oncoming traffic your intention to cross, once you have been yeilded the right of way then you should proceed accordingly. If someone does not yield and you walk out in front of them you are partiaslly at fault (and a dumbass)the same as you would be if there were an oncoming train but the red lights were not flashing. It is called the last "clear chance doctrine."

If drivers refuse to yield then call a cop.

If you get run over because you just walked out and expected somone to stop then that is just Darwin proving his theory.

I, too, have crossed at that intersection hundreds of times since that building was built, and a 15 - 20 foot sight-line is clearly not sufficient. If a pedestrian can not see oncoming cars heading east through the building, then I doubt seriously if the driver can. The crosswalk should be moved further east.

Music Lover 2.0,

Thanks. Glad that this place can be a forum for folks. Unfortunately, I just had to delete a comment from someone who felt the need to hurl insults at the police. Not that criticism isn't welcome, but when an empty insult is all it is....

Dave McNair

I hate it when pedestrians start walking out into the road, outside of a crosswalk, and then give you a dirty look for putting your hands up in a way that screams, "what the F man?!"

C-ville Eye,
The sight line distance is a lot further than 15-20 feet in the eastbound lane. Even so, moving the crosswalk may not be a bad idea.
Geekster,
It's a complete waste of your time and the police to call the police if a driver fails to yield. Unless there was an accident the police won't do anything because they didn't see it. If they did locate the driver it would just be your word against the drivers word.
If a car has enough distance to safely stop, pedestrians can safely cross in front of oncoming traffic. If a pedestrian just steps into the street and doesn't move many drivers who have time and space to stop will not. If the pedestrian is moving they stop. I see it every day. Drivers have control over their cars and they can and do stop them. I watch them anyway though, because on very rare occasions some jerk will refuse to back off the accelerator and brake and will deliberately drive at me. It's happened 2 or 3 times in the many years I've been walking.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

The sight distance had zero to do with this accident. The car was westbound. The pedestrian was crossing from the Omni side to the Lewis and Clark building side and he was 15-20 feet away from the crosswalk on the west side.
I wonder if the pedestrian is not being charged in order to protect the privacy of the driver.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

quote: "question for you Sick, have you ever been on a ride along with an officer? It’s quite the enjoyable experience if your with the right officer...."

Well, the answer to your specific question is a definite YES. I logged in excess of 6,000 hours in 3 years as a ride-a-long. Before finally selecting where I wanted to work full time, I turned down an offer from then Sheriff George Bailey to join his department as a deputy sheriff.

I think you mean well, but life is not a bed of roses. Suppose you get partnered with the wrong officer during a ride-a-long? An officer who asks you to lie for him? One such ride-a-long and police officer were caught in lies back in 1997 when the ride-a-long was told what to say by the cop and a license plate totally destroyed their contrived testimony in a criminal case.

quote: "The officer I rode along with told me that 80% of a cops career is boring, 15% scary, and 5% scared $hitless!"

Yet another rookie who has been watching COPS on TV way too much. They spout off this foolishess in just about every episode. If you pay careful attention they also spout off they are going home at the end of their shift no matter what. This fear they seem to live with nowadays has actually made most of the cops hired in the last 15 to 20 years way too trigger happy. They're a bunch of pansies compared to the cops of just 2 or 3 decades ago.

You, like most of the public, have been lulled into believing that police work is so dangerous. It's not. It's not even in the top 10 of the most dangerous professions in the United States.

quote: "I do remember about the lady that was killed by an Albemarle Co. officer, who admitted to being on her cell phone..."

How did the deceased victim admit to anything? The officer claimed she was not on her cell phone, but the officer also claimed the victim was on a cell phone. Who knows what to believe?

see...

http://www.charlottesvillenewsplex.tv/home/headlines/9499202.html

quote from news article link: "The police vehicle camera did not capture the accident but did capture the aftermath."

Yeah, is't that convenient? Just like when one police officer charged another police officer with stalking him a while back, not one inch of video existed even though the accusing officer had video cameras in both the front and rear windshields of his patrol car! I firmly to this day still believe the video was destroyed because it would have shown the accusig officer was actually the one doing the stalking. The judge dismissed the charge against the officer that was falsely accused!

quote: "A pedestrian who steps out in front of a car that is 15-20 feet away is stupid."

Now we agree, Kevin. But pedestrians do it every single day in crosswalks all across the city. This "pedestrian has the right of way foolishness" has been drummed into their heads so much around Charlottesvile that pedestrians think a car has a legal obligation to stop without any warning whatsoever. Chills run down my spine every time I think about the girl I almost ran over the other night, the one who jogged to the crosswalk and then stepped right out in front of me. There was no way on God's green earth I could have stopped in time. And as UVA Grad said above, I was given the "WTF man!" look as she was jerking herself out of the crosswalk. In her feeble mind, it was my fault.

Sick,
It irritates me to no end when I see people walk into traffic with complete disregard for oncoming vehicles. I don't like slamming on the brakes either and I think that those who do walk out when cars are too close do everyone a disservice.

Even so, Pedestrians actually do, sometimes, have the right of way. They have the right of way a lot more often then they actually exercise that right. Too many drivers completely ignore pedestrians, even when the pedestrian does everything safely and correctly, and so people are afraid. Drivers need to learn that pedestrians have rights and that drivers can stop and they do have an obligation to stop and yield.
What's the big deal anyway? When driving I stop all the time for pedestrians and it doesn't make much difference. I still get where I'm going and on time. I step out in front of cars that are far enough away to stop every day and I see the angry looks from the drivers as they stop. There is definitely a feeling among many drivers that pedestrians have no rights. We do and I am going to exercise those rights, oh and I am not going to get hit. Smile and wave when you see me. We can all get where we're going without getting all mad and excited. A lot of people need to lighten up and keep their blood pressure under control.

If people really were stepping out in front of cars that are moving 25 mph and are only 15 feet away there be a lot more pedestrian accidents then there actually are.
Cordially,
Kevin Cox

"Drivers need to learn that pedestrians have rights and that drivers can stop and they do have an obligation to stop and yield." Fat chance in a college town with thousands of newbies every year.

how often do you guys have to delete comments?

Sick, i was reffering to the police officer. It was to my understanding that she was on her cell phone but it was up to the ear on the opposite side from where the pedestrian was. But then again it was a long time ago and i'm not too certain on the details of the investigation.

Also Sick, I know better then to pair myself up with an officer I don't know. The deputy I happened to be riding with is a friend of mine.

Coming back to the main story, i wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the pedestrian mentioned in this article hires an attorney and files a claim on the poor girl's insurance policy.

quote: "Drivers need to learn that pedestrians have rights and that drivers can stop and they do have an obligation to stop and yield."

Agreed. But now we are going in circles again. Because pedestrians also need to learn that drivers have rights and that drivers often can't stop safely, and therefore have no obligation to yeild the right of way to them. :)

quote: "What's the big deal?"

No big deal at all, Kevin. I love nothing more than stopping at crosswalks and watching attractive girls cross. Especially up around the corner. I wish I was 30 years younger. :)

quote: "Sick, i was reffering to the police officer. It was to my understanding that she was on her cell phone but it was up to the ear on the opposite side from where the pedestrian was."

The press release says the cop claimed she was not on her cell phone. Not even sure why it needed to be mentioned in the press release. Wish I had been there, would have been refreshing to see a cop driving without a cell phone taped to their ear.

Also Sick, I know better then to pair myself up with an officer I don’t know. The deputy I happened to be riding with is a friend of mine.

Most ride-a-longs are paired up with total strangers. And like I said above, and some have probably been asked to commit perjury as a witness in the front seat of the patrol car. I know of one that was asked, and she complied. Did I mention the ride-a-long's memo of what she would testify to in court under oath was hand written 6 months AFTER what she had supposedly observed? You should have seen the look on the judge's face when this fact was introduced at trial. Can you spell fabrication of evidence? The judge saw what was going on.

Coming back to the main story, i wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the pedestrian mentioned in this article hires an attorney and files a claim on the poor girl’s insurance policy.

And this is exactly why I am thrilled to death about the witness remaining on the scene, identifying himself and speaking with the police.

I think the driver was kin to John too. why else would he take up so much concern?

I agree. The importance of a viable witness in a liability situation is imperative, especially when there is an injury involved.

Oh and Sick, I know this is totally off subject, but you know what REALLY chaps my ass, when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and sirens is balling down the road and very few people actually obey the law and pull off to the right. they just keep going and enjoy the free ride of constant green lights!!!

Like I said before, I moved here from Los Angeles and whenever there was an emergency vehicle approaching, EVERY car moved out of the way and stopped until the vehicle passed.

Come on C-ville! If people in the murder capitol of the world can respect and emergency vehicle and it's space, why can't the one-time best place to live in? SECONDS matter in some situations. What if it where one of your family members???

There's something for the area PD to crack down on.

Sick
Obvious by your surname that you have had issues with police in the past, I respect that. But, despite your claim that their job is not dangerous and that they overstep their authority, most police just do their job. It is time that you remove the chip on your shoulder and create some positives in your life. Seriously, it sounds flowery but I've been watching your posts for a while and your negativity is just too obvious to ignore. If you disagree please go through and find where you have agreed with anything that involves others telling you where you are wrong. Some time folks are wrong in their actions and need to be held accountable. For those enforcing it, it is their jobs and they do deserve some respect and acknowledgment.

quote: "Obvious by your surname that you have had issues with police in the past..."

Ohh Sane One, don't you recall giving me this lecture before? :) But if we must go down this road again....

Just in case it has gone right over your head somehow, I was a full time sworn officer for decades. I resigned from the last department I worked for shortly after I sat in court and watched the entire chain of command from a local police department commit perjury in a courtroom. Anyhow, the judge got up, entered his chambers and told his baliff he couldn't believe this entire chain of command had just committed perjury in his courtroom. He also resigned very shortly after this. I am a firm believer the judge had gotten to the point he could no longer believe defendants or cops. In another case a visiting judge let loose on a group of about 8 city and county cops. He told them that their testimony in open court under oath was so diametrically opposed to one another that he couldn't believe any of them. I have the transcript of this as a souvenir. Need I continue with more examples, or do you realize that a lot more important people than me have trouble with the credibility of some local cops?

quote: "Some time folks are wrong in their actions and need to be held accountable. For those enforcing it, it is their jobs and they do deserve some respect and acknowledgment."

Agreed. And if it is cops performing wrongful acts, they should be held accountable too. But this doesn't happen in most cases. It starts right at the top when a chief keeps a crooked corrupt cop on simply because the crooked cop only has a year or two to go until retirement. It also starts right at the top when a chief keeps a crooked corrupt cop on simply because a family member donates large sums of money to a worthy police affiliated cause. Although I could go on for days, I'll stop with those two examples as well.

quote: "Oh and Sick, I know this is totally off subject, but you know what REALLY chaps my ass, when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and sirens is balling down the road and very few people actually obey the law and pull off to the right."

There is a reasonably good explanation for some of this. With the new soundproofing in modern day cars and SUVs, the ventilation systems running (whether it be A/C or heat), and the new and improved stereo systems - people simply can not hear them coming in and around the city. One exception of course is the city fire trucks on occasion. They are actually damaging to the unprotected ear. That's why firemen wear ear protection while running code.

Then of course, in high speed zones, there is also the phenomenon known as outdriving your siren. A siren often doesn't announce the presence of an emergency vehicle until it's too late for the emergency vehicle to stop safely. I have told this story before, I will tell it again. I left Office Depot one night and was turning left on Route 29. I had the green traffic light. A county police car came through the intersection against a red light running about 80 mph (I have been trained in estimating the approximate speed of moving cars). Ever had a bubble bee whiz by you at eye level? That's all I saw due to his reckless and total disregard for other traffic on the highway. He must not have slowed down for his red traffic light at all. Had the police car been one second later he would have t-boned my car in the passenger doors. And he would most likey would have killed my daughter in the front passenger seat even though my Cadillac has side curtain airbags. I never saw his car, his emergency lights or heard his siren until it would have been too late for him to stop from 80 mph. Other traffic stopped in a few lanes at the red light had him blocked from view.

And last, but certainly not least, some people just don't care. They are in such a rush to get wherever they are going. Or.... drumroll please..... they are on a cell phone totally oblivious to their surroundings.

" Some time folks are wrong in their actions and need to be held accountable." I'm glad City Council is moving in that direction with the RWSA.

Don't let false appearances deceive you, CVilleEye. City Council is spineless. You saw what they did with the Citizens Review Board. Instead of being a mighty sabre in addressing accountability of city employee's wrongful actions, it's now nothing more than a "look good, feel good" lime popsicle. City employees have never and will never be held accountable for anything unless and until a civil action is filed in said wrongful action.

All said and done though, the people still have a very effective Citizens Review Board with sharp teeth, it's called a JURY.

For real Cville Eye! new kids flock to c-ville every year yet few follow directions when crossing the street

You know what Sick, I never even thought about the fact that a lot of cars out there are fitted with soundproofing technology. Still though it's a shame to see an ambulance trying to make it's way through not even that much traffic.

That leads me to another good point. I recently got a chance to speak with a Charlottesville city cop, Michael Flaherty, and he stated that with the amount of crimes involving bodily injury in this area, the only thing keeping us from Richmond/Henrico-like murder rates is the awesome trauma center that is UVA. I then asked him how I never here about the acclaimed "flury of attacks" to which he responded, "Well, we have a good press." Your thoughts on this??

quote: "That leads me to another good point. I recently got a chance to speak with a Charlottesville city cop, Michael Flaherty..."

It's very interesing that you should mention that name (Michael Flaherty) in this pedestrian thread. Welcome to the Land of Rookies, 2008 version. You do realize he's the cop who almost ran over two pedestrians? Then he locked them up when they shouted out for him to "slow the f*** down!" The arrest warrants were for public swearing and intoxication for both the male and female, and an additional charge of obstructing jusice for the female. The pedestrians were found NOT GUILTY on all of these BS charges.

IMHO, and opinions are like as... well, you know the old saying.... this was simply yet aother cop who was NOT held accountable for his wrongful actions. We'll get a few more opinions if and when the pedestrians file a civil action against him and take it the decision to a jury.

Let me explain my thoughts on this. If I had almost run over two pedestrians with my police Jeep, I would have jumpded out and made sure they were OK. I would then apologize to them. I would not arrest them, throw them against a car, handcuff them and haul them off to jail.

quote: "...he stated that with the amount of crimes involving bodily injury in this area, the only thing keeping us from Richmond/Henrico-like murder rates is the awesome trauma center that is UVA. I then asked him how I never here about the acclaimed ââ?¬Å?flury of attacks” to which he responded, ââ?¬Å?Well, we have a good press.” Your thoughts on this??"

OK, you are asking for an opinion. So, IMHO, I think he let the cat out of the bag. If the police department requests that the media does not report there were 5 vicious and violent atacks around the city this week, they are a "good press" when they honor this request. I have always felt the public does not realize how serious crime is in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area.

In all fairness though, he could also have meant it is your fault if you don't hear about them, because we have a good press that does report them.

He sure wasn't very clear either way though, was he?

I passed by that day and saw John!! he's much taller then i thought he would be

Sick,
no he was not. He sure did seem like he loved him some him though,
if you know what I mean. ; )

Oh, what do you mean by "IMHO"?
I'm a bit thrown on that...

IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

Who would of thought officer Flaherty was a power hungry cop, just waiting for opportunities to abuse his power?? Not I, and certainly not Richard Silva and Blair Austin

It's not like departments can pick and choose from the cream of the crop any longer. Do you realize that 33% of the rookies now hired in Atlanta, Georgia have criminal records when hired. Atlanta has had to relax the requirements so much just to attract applicants.

I guess I should post a link after stating such a fact. 1 in 3 Atlanta rookies have criminal records.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2008/10/12/atlant...

Since you brought it up”Š

It should be noted that Atlanta PD’s questionable hiring practices comes on the heels of the shooting death by police of 92 year old Kathryn Johnson, and subsequent investigation and trial.
http://www.reason.com/news/show/123632.html

The Department of Justice investigation in that incident referenced a ââ?¬Å?culture of misconduct” in existence at Atlanta PD.
http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2007/April/07_crt_299.html

The bigger picture of police corruption throughout the United States is referenced in a 2007 USA Today article. The article mentions Department of Justice statistics indicating police brutality is on the rise. It ties that fact in with reduced hiring standards.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-copmisconduct_n.htm

Excellent links. Thanks!

I hope everybody takes the time to read all of them.

Michael Flaherty is a good cop. he's irish ya know

smile!

i like food