“Some measure of justice,” you can take that statement as the family and friends of a loved one killed received some measure of justice.
Or if you say it in a facetious or sarcastic manner, it means the opposite, that justice was not served. You be your own judge.
On October the 1st. 2010 a group of 15 cyclists set out for an evening ride from Outspoken Bicycles in Augusta, Georgia.
They crossed over the South Carolina border on country roads in Aiken County, SC.
On a straight road and good visibility, a Dodge Durango truck driven by Daniel Johnson (Above left.) drove into the back of the group hitting four of the cyclists. One of the group, Dr. Matthew Burke, (Below.) later died from his injuries without waking from a coma.
Johnson said he was distracted by papers falling from his dash, and the sun was in his eyes; this was proved to be a lie as the sun was behind him. How someone can fail to see a group of 15 riders on a straight road is beyond me, and I am left to wonder if this was another case of a driver angry at cyclists who have the audacity to ride on his roads.
To give credit to the local police, they did not let this go as a tragic accident, and Johnson was charged with reckless homicide.
However, when Daniel Johnson came to trial this week he was able to take a plea bargain and plead guilty to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, followed by 5 years probation; he also lost his driver’s license for an unspecified period.
Johnson apologized to the family of Matthew Burke, and I wasn’t there in court to judge whether this was a sincere apology, or an attempt by the defendant to save his own ass.
Attitudes from the driving public have to change, and hopefully the prosecution of cases like this will bring this point home. Anger and impatience is the cause, people dying needlessly is the effect.
The problem is with so few of these cases ever being prosecuted to the full extent of the law, how many more must die in order for there to be this change in attitude?
Footnote:After writing this I opened an email of a daily cartoon I receive from one of my favorite artists, Hugh McLeod. Interesting that the drawing is in blood red.
More on the case here: