All Articles Tagged "hit and run"
Donna Fountain, 38, had five simple dreams for her life that she carried around with her on a piece of paper everywhere she went: work on her dream job, buy a house by age 45, create housing for gay and lesbian teens, marry the woman of her dreams, and make sure her son, Elijah, graduates from college.
Unfortunately, the single mother won’t ever see her dreams come true. On Christmas morning she was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn while heading to work as a home health care aide, leaving behind an 8-year-old son.
Police officers found the list of Fountain’s dreams at the scene of the accident and passed it on to her neighbor.
“She gave everything she had to her son and worked so hard for him,” her friend, Dena Baveghems, says.
“She was all about making her dreams come true. Nothing could have stopped her except this.”
Donna’s brother, Ben Fountain, says investigators are reviewing traffic cameras are confident they can track down the careless driver. Still that won’t bring back his sister who planned to work her early Christmas shift then return home to open presents with her son.
“She talked about saving up to buy his gifts. She was looking forward to being with him on Christmas,” Baveghems says.
“I’m devastated for him. To lose the person who took care of him on Christmas is the worst thing I can imagine.”
Elijah will be taken in by relatives who will try their best to live up to the standards Donna, who her brother calls an “exceptional woman,” set for herself and her son.
“She did it all on her own. She built herself up,” her brother says. “She believed in herself. She had the normal problems any single parent has, but she persevered and fought for her dreams.”
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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James C. Anderson stood near his car on an early morning in June, unknowingly standing as a target for a group of excited, crazed teens on a mission.
He was ran over in a motel parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi and The NY Times reports that his death could have, at first, been connected to an accidental hit and run. But a motel security camera caught the incident on tape – CNN posted the video on its website on Sunday, prompting additional interest in the case.
Hinds County district attorney, Robert Shuler Smith, is sure that a group of white teenagers from a predominantly white town only 16 miles away, beat and killed Anderson, who was African American. One witness says they came to Jackson looking for African Americans to “mess with.”
“This is the first business that you get to coming off the highway, and so that was the first person that was out here and vulnerable,” Smith told CNN.
The district attorney says Anderson was standing near his car at a motel in Jackson at about 5 am on Sunday, June 26. Two carloads of teenagers then got off the Interstate and drove into the motel parking lot. Some jumped from the vehicles to beat Anderson and as he tripped around the parking lot, he was run over by a green Ford F250 pickup truck. A local hospital later pronounced Anderson dead.
One motel worker who witnessed the assault says one of them yelled “white power” after they beat the man. Others who saw it take place, said they heard a suspect laugh and brag about the incident. While two carloads of teens were involved, Deryl Dedmon, a skinny 18-year-old man with blond hair, was the driver of the vehicle that killed Anderson. He has been charged with murder and is in jail on an $800,000 bond. There were two teenage girls in the truck with him but police say they were not charged.
Another 18-year-old, John A Rice, was at first charged with murder but a judge reduced the charges to simple assault. He has been released on bail. This month a grand jury will hear the case and prosecutors will argue that it was a hate crime and a murder and that both teens should be convicted. Smith says that these teens “have a history of harassing white teens who had black friends or gay teens.”
Dedmon’s uncle Ray Dedmon says his nephew was a “good boy” who “probably got with the wrong crowd.” A Facebook page supports Rice’s case, with his friends arguing his innocence. His great-aunt says that he is neither “a racist or a murderer,” and that she is “sick of the race card.” But the case has Jackson residents and surrounding towns wondering how far the state has come in race relations. While Smith tells NY Times that “this does not happen very often,” he also says “it’s still highly segregated in most ways” with high racial tension in some groups.
“There’s no way to get around it,” he said. “It is what it is.”
I never understood why people used to make a huge deal about jaywalking. Well, mainly the police. If you want to cross the street outside of the confines of a crosswalk than that’s your business, and a risk you choose to take on your own. How is crossing the street in a way that doesn’t include walking over some painted lines and a light an issue if you wait until the streets are clear? We’ve all done it, am I right? But after a 4-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run accident while the young man, his mother and two sisters were crossing a busy intersection to get home in April 2010, the whole freak out about jaywalking makes a little bit more sense. But should a mother possibly face more jail time for jaywalking with her kids than the person who was driving the car and bolted?
For a while there, that seemed to be a possibility for Georgia mother Raquel Nelson. Not only had she lost her son in the accident, but Raquel and one of her daughters were hit as well during the incident. As Nelson and her children waited on a median to cross the busy road after getting off of their bus, a young woman who also was waiting decided to try and beat the traffic by running across the street. Thinking that was his cue, 4-year-old A.J. Newman, Nelson’s son, followed suit and let go of his mother’s hand. As Nelson tried to run out to follow him, Nelson, her son A.J. of course, and her daughter were hit by the driver, who later admitted to drinking before he drove that day, and also taking painkillers before he got behind the wheel. While the driver, Jerry Guy, only served six months of a five year sentence for the accident, although he had two priors for hit-and-run accidents, the state convicted Nelson of reckless conduct, improperly crossing a roadway, and second degree homicide by vehicle. The mother, who was convicted by an all-white jury according to The Huffington Post, was looking at three years in prison. Luckily for her, yesterday Nelson was given community service and 12 months probation. However, Nelson doesn’t want any of that, and we can’t blame her. The mother is looking for a new trial in the hopes that she can be acquitted of all charges and wipe her record clean.
It’s important to note Nelson’s responsibility in this accident, but time in jail? That would have been a travesty, and probation in itself is seemingly way over the top. Especially since it has been proven that there wasn’t a real crosswalk available for Nelson and her kids to safely make it from their bus stop to their apartment. Something that has been complained about consistently by residents of Marietta, Ga., who have to cross the busy Austell Road. Is it not bad enough that she already lost her son? I think it’s pretty clear that the justice system sure knows how to do the absolute most and the least at the same time. Shame…but what do you think?
Do you think Raquel Nelson deserved probation?