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Another Case Of "Please Don't Try This At Home"

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  • 5pts384
    replied
    Call 911 if the cops don't show the person injured or killed will be the cops fault. We are no longer expected to save our fellow citizens the LAW will protect us, just as soon as they can get around to it.

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  • Dushore5741
    replied
    Of course the laws are different... It's in Canada. Honestly, how often do you ever hear of anything bad happening in Canada..?

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  • Ratchet
    replied
    I'm not talking about striking them in the exact spot to cause them to spin precisely three-times counter-clockwise in the same lane of traffic... all I'm talking about is getting in front of them and stepping on the brake pedal. It does not take a specially trained officer to do that.

    I'm sorry you feel the way you do George. But I'm glad that there are people out there that are willing to do something for the general good of others. It's like a good samaritan running into a burning building before it becomes fully involved to get someone out. If they know they can accomplish the task... by all means, help someone out. Timing is everything.

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  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Illegal or not, I think it comes down to right and wrong.
    That's profound. We can decide which laws are right and which ones are wrong for ourselves?

    George, I think when the term "force them off the road" is used, I don't believe that means ramming them into a utility pole or anything like that. Even so much as getting in front of the person and slowing them down/stopping them in the middle of the road would do just fine.
    And you have training to do this? And you can control what a allegedly drunk driver does and where he goes after he is forced off the road? You can't.

    I'm not going to post on this subject again. Doing this in most, if not all, US states is illegal. Period.

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  • Ratchet
    replied
    Illegal or not, I think it comes down to right and wrong. Granted, it would ultimately depend on the situation at hand, but I personally think forcing another driver off the road or to stop is MUCH better than letting that person continue on and kill someone. Whether they're drunk or not, if they're driving like that, they're going to end up hurting someone.

    what if they were having a medical situation and you forced them off the road and killed them?
    George, I think when the term "force them off the road" is used, I don't believe that means ramming them into a utility pole or anything like that. Even so much as getting in front of the person and slowing them down/stopping them in the middle of the road would do just fine.
    Last edited by Ratchet; 07-06-2003, 01:42 PM.

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  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by Resq14


    I don't know. Let's ask family of victims that fall prey to drunk drivers every day. I bet they'd say it was justifiable force. Controlled contact with a vehicle is typically an option for vehicles whose operator is committing a hazardous traffic offense, and who poses a high level of threat to the public. (yes, NJ and other states may be different)

    Happily, it seems like Canadian law also supports the truck operators actions.
    I can't speak for Canadian Law.

    But in NJ, as I am certain in the rest of the US, if you kill somebody who is SUSPECTED of being DUI (what if they were having a medical situation and you forced them off the road and killed them?), you are going to jail...for a long time.

    A LEO may be able to do this, but the LEO has undergone training on when and how to do it. Unless there is an imminent, identifiable and articulable danger to another persons life, this is illegal.

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  • MalahatTwo7
    replied
    As it turns out, the driver of the dump truck was grudgingly given a "Bravo Zulu" (Navy talk for "thumbs up") for his actions, however it was also explained to him and to the general public that while it worked well in this instance, use of another vehicle to force someone off the road is not always a good idea.

    The fact that there were no injuries associated with this incident is more luck than good sense or judgement, and it all turned out good for everyone (except the drunk guy - his loss?? I think whoopie doo for him, and hang'm). I don't agree that this was use of "deadly force" in the strictest sense of the term, but yes it could have turned that way real easy. Hence the "grudging" BZ, but the driver also got a stern lecture as well.

    Would I have done this? Possibly, if I knew what was around the corner, perhaps I would have. I know from past experience that I would be dialling IX-II on my cell phone first, but circumstance would dictate all, as usual.

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  • Resq14
    replied
    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    Would you still feel horrible if you pushed the guy off the side of the road and killed him? Deadly force was NOT justifiable.
    I don't know. Let's ask family of victims that fall prey to drunk drivers every day. I bet they'd say it was justifiable force. Controlled contact with a vehicle is typically an option for vehicles whose operator is committing a hazardous traffic offense, and who poses a high level of threat to the public. (yes, NJ and other states may be different)

    Happily, it seems like Canadian law also supports the truck operators actions.
    Last edited by Resq14; 07-06-2003, 12:35 AM.

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  • Ratchet
    replied
    Originally posted by Jedimike007
    There are to many people that are afraid to help out anymore. It really frustrates me.
    That's very VERY true. I don't necessarily think it's because people don't want to help, it just seems like the good guys always get punished, and the bad guys get the slap on the hands. I think a lot of it has to do with people not knowing when they should step in, and when they shouldn't... on top of police not being able to be everywhere they need to be.

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  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    Originally posted by Jedimike007
    I see the logic in thinking this action was stupid, but I'm also glad some people are willing to take action to prevent a possible death caused by a drunk driver. If I knew a drunk was coming up on road construction I think I'd go ahead and get this idiot stopped too. I would feel horrible if this guy drove into construction workers and I didn't attempt to stop him. I'd be willing to accept the consequences if there were any. There are to many people that are afraid to help out anymore. It really frustrates me.
    Would you still feel horrible if you pushed the guy off the side of the road and killed him? Deadly force was NOT justifiable.

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  • Jedimike007
    replied
    I see the logic in thinking this action was stupid, but I'm also glad some people are willing to take action to prevent a possible death caused by a drunk driver. If I knew a drunk was coming up on road construction I think I'd go ahead and get this idiot stopped too. I would feel horrible if this guy drove into construction workers and I didn't attempt to stop him. I'd be willing to accept the consequences if there were any. There are to many people that are afraid to help out anymore. It really frustrates me.

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  • Jedimike007
    replied
    PIT'em!

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  • MalahatTwo7
    replied
    AND HERE'S THE "REST OF THE STORY"....

    **Please accept my apologies for mis-quoting Paul Harvey somewhat**

    'I'm not a vigilante but I had to stop this man'
    Saanich trucker uses his vehicle to shield other traffic from weaving drunk driver

    Kim Westad and Louise Dickson Times Colonist

    CREDIT: Deddeda Stemler, Times Colonist

    GREG MACDONALD: "It's dangerous enough being out on the road when people are sober, let alone when they're swerving all over the road."

    Dump truck driver Greg MacDonald saw no other choice than to swerve his fully loaded truck in front of a drunk driver in hopes of keeping other people safe.

    "I'm not a vigilante, but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I hadn't done something to stop this man," MacDonald said Friday.

    "He might have continued on and seriously hurt or killed someone. I couldn't live with that on my conscience."

    The 36-year-old Saanich man used his dump truck, loaded with 13 tonnes of asphalt, as a shield to keep other traffic away from the drunk driver who was swerving across lanes of the Pat Bay Highway Thursday night.

    MacDonald was heading north on the highway about 10:30 p.m. when he noticed the 1989 Ford pickup ahead of him swerving just south of Elk Lake. It went toward the median and then back again. "My first thought was the driver had just dropped hot coffee on his lap," said MacDonald, who was hauling asphalt to a paving site on the highway.

    But as the pickup continued weaving, MacDonald began to think the driver was drunk. He called 911 and kept behind the vehicle.

    MacDonald said the pickup wandered all over the northbound side of the highway, from the median to the ditch, wasn't stopping when it came up to traffic lights, and almost hit other vehicles.

    "People were trying to avoid him and get out of his way," MacDonald said. "My partner was hanging out the passenger window, waving to try and stop traffic."

    At Mount Newton Cross Road, the pickup hit a construction sign and continued to weave. But it was the sight of about 10 construction workers on the highway just past Mount Newton Cross Road that made up MacDonald's mind that he had to stop the driver.

    "It's dangerous enough being out on the road when people are sober, let alone when they're swerving all over the road. There was no protection for them from this driver."

    And MacDonald knew that another group of construction workers was three kilometres up the road. He was taking the asphalt to them. "This guy ... he was either going to hurt or kill someone."

    So MacDonald pulled his loaded dump truck in front of the pickup, blocking the vehicle as it was in the lane to turn right onto Mount Newton Cross Road.

    "I made a slight bit of contact with the front of his vehicle," MacDonald said.

    By now, police were on the scene.

    "He saw the police and accelerated into my truck," said MacDonald, who reversed to get out of the way.

    Central Saanich police arrested a 43-year-old Saanichton man a short distance up Mount Newton Cross Road. He refused to provide a blood sample and has been charged with impaired driving.

    "He was definitely drunk and was having trouble standing," said Central Saanich police Sgt. Peter Snell.

    A charge could also be laid against MacDonald, but it's unlikely, Snell said. The Criminal Code authorizes the use of force by a citizen who sees an offence being committed.

    Police are concerned that someone could have been injured in the collision between the dump truck and the pickup.

    "But I think the pickup driver could well have killed a number of people who were working on the highway," said Snell.

    Police understand what MacDonald's intentions were, but they don't condone them, said Snell.

    "People who see impaired drivers should dial 911 and report it to the police, as the driver did, and we will stop the vehicle. We have spike belts and all kinds of equipment and that probably would have been deployed at some point. However, he saw imminent danger and made a split-second decision which is subject of a police investigation itself," said Snell.

    MacDonald said he doesn't encourage such actions either, but felt he had no choice. "This was an extreme situation. If it had been open highway, I'd have just followed him. But with people at the construction site just ahead, walking on the highway -- I couldn't let him continue."

    MacDonald, a truck driver for 14 years, said he has often called 911 with reports of impaired drivers. He has seen and heard too much of the damage these people can do, having lost two friends to drunk drivers and been told many horror stories by an aunt, who is a nurse.

    ICBC spokeswoman Peggy Hunt could not comment on the incident.

    "We generally do everything we can to support Good Samaritan acts," said Hunt, "but the matter often turns on how reasonable the action was under the circumstances. If someone puts themselves in harm's way to prevent something serious, we will look at the circumstances and protect that person from financial loss."

    © Copyright 2003 Times Colonist (Victoria)

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  • GeorgeWendtCFI
    replied
    He adds that what the dump truck driver did is legal.

    "There is a section in the criminal code that covers use of force, and a person can use as much force as necessary to prevent an indictable offense being continued," he says.
    This is not true in all states. For example, NJ gives a citizen a right to defend himself or another person he reasonably believes is in danger of death or serious bodily injury. The court will judge the reasonableness of each case based upon the facts as presented at the time of the incident. In my mind, you could stretch the facts here to create that scenario.

    But here's the part of the NJ law people should be aware of:

    "When the actor is justified under sections 2C:3-3 to 2C:3-8 in using force upon or toward the person of another but he recklessly or negligently injures or creates a risk of injury to innocent persons, the justification afforded by those sections is unavailable in a prosecution for such recklessness or negligence towards innocent persons."

    I would submit to you that driving a dump truck in such a manner as to force another car off the road falls into the category above.

    Remember also, in NJ, police cannot even initiate a pursuit for DUI. We can force NO cars off the road and we cannot use spike strips, etc. We can't shoot at a moving vehicle unless it is being used as a weapon (ie; it is being aimed in an attacking manner and purposely driven at another person for the purpose of causing injury.

    I am speaking solely for NJ, but I am certain there are other states out there with similar wording.

    I would not try this at all. It's an excellent way to get hurt and an excellent way to get shot. I think this guy is foolish instead of a hero.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 07-05-2003, 09:04 AM.

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  • Ratchet
    replied
    I was in a situation like this a few years ago, but I didn't force the person off the road... although the thought crossed my mind. I did call the police from my cell phone, and centered my truck in the middle of the highway to keep everyone else back a bit... but the person did end up hitting a parked car (luckily) before the police caught up to her. Completely drunk at 4pm... driving in rush hour traffic. My wife is worried about me becoming a firefighter... I'm worried about the drive to work.

    Leave a comment:

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