I wrote over a year ago about the tragic death of a woman on the way to the Peach Bowl in 2011 at the hands of a habitually reckless Georgia State Patrol Officer. The AJC reports today that he has plead guilty to vehicular homicide and will serve 2 years in jail and 8 years on probation. There is some justice in the result but what really bothers me is the lack of punishment for his superiors and their decision making.
According to the AJC, the officer had a record of prior crashes before causing the wrongful death of this woman. The officer is certainly not going to take himself off the road; that is up to his superiors. We see the same thing again and again in tractor trailer cases. Companies turning a blind eye to repeat offender drivers who they know are going to hurt someone one day.
In this situation, who would know better about the statistical dangers of collision prone drivers than the Georgia State Patrol and yet they allowed this officer access to a souped up police cruiser with the ability to speed through intersections. Tragedies are a part of life, but when the outcome is so predictable, you wonder what the repercussions in the department were. I can see his bosses at the meeting for the crash before the fatal one saying “that guy is going to kill someone one day driving that way.” If you are out there and reading this, I hope your department has taking radical steps to overhaul their procedures and keep unsafe officers off the road. We have a hard enough time keeping untrained citizens out of car accidents, we don’t need law enforcement contributing to the problem.