Mother Who Lost Son in Hit-and-Run Faces Longer Jail Term Than Driver

(CARE 2)   While trying to cross an intersection in Marietta, Georgia, in April of 2010, Raquel Nelson and her three children were hit by Jerry L. Guy, who would later confess to having consumed a “little” alcohol earlier in the day. Nelson’s 4-year-old son was struck by Guy’s vehicle and died from his injuries; Nelson and her younger daughter suffered minor injuries, while her older daughter was uninjured. Guy had been previously convicted of two-hit-and-runs on the same day, Feb. 17, 1997, the first of them on Austell Road, the same location as the accident involving Nelson and her children.

According to David Simpson, Guy’s attorney, his client was “being prescribed pain medication and … partially blind in his left eye,” says the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. He pleaded guilty to hit-and-run in the death of Nelson’s son and, after serving a 6-month sentence, was released on October 29, 2010; he is to serve the remainder of a 5-year sentence on probation.

Nelson, who lost her son in the hit-and-run, was convicted on July 12 of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing a roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, said her attorney, David Savoy. She is to be sentenced at a hearing on July 26 and could serve up to 36 months.

Yes, Nelson could be jailed for 30 months longer than the driver of the vehicle that killed her child. Furthermore, she’s been charged with vehicular homicide in her own child’s death, even though she was a pedestrian when the accident occurred.

I had to read the facts of this case a few times to make sure I’d gotten them right — a mother was on foot with her children trying to cross a street, they get hit by a car that doesn’t stop, she is charged with her child’s death?

Jess Zimmerman on Grist asks:

What could Nelson have done instead? Basically either stayed inside or gotten some flying shoes. The court considered Nelson’s street crossing “reckless,” but her neighborhood has a Walkscore of 25, and the Marietta area ranks 11th in the nation for dangerousness to pedestrians. The street Nelson and her kids were crossing, Austell Road, is particularly dangerous — it’s a four-lane divided highway where safe crossings are sporadic. One of Guy’s previous hit-and-runs also happened on that road. After Nelson’s conviction, the president of a pedestrian advocacy organization pointed out that the city could have added a safe crossing for the cost of the trial. But that would mean prioritizing people over traffic.

Zimmerman also points out an unfortunate “trend” this year, “penalizing pedestrians for trying to walk in pedestrian-unfriendly areas.” Even in car-centric America, not everyone has a car and not everyone who has a car can afford gas to use it all the time; in such cases, walking is the only option.

Critics will say Nelson was clearly in the wrong not to be crossing the crosswalk. But doing so does not make it anymore “all right” for a driver to hit her and her children. Of course children need to learn to walk in the crosswalk and to look out for traffic — but if you’re driving a car and there’s a pedestrian in the road, you need to stop.

Nelson has already suffered enough, losing a child in a terrifying accident and then being judged — convicted — of contributing to his death. Jailing her for more than two years is highly likely to adversely affect her other two children, who’ve already had to contend with the death of the sibling and the legal charges against their mother. Why penalize this family further?

Take Action: Sign the Care2 petition against Nelson’s conviction!

http://www.care2.com/causes/mother-who-lost-son-in-hit-and-run-faces-longer-jail-term-than-driver.html#ixzz1SgFHvkea

5 Responses to Mother Who Lost Son in Hit-and-Run Faces Longer Jail Term Than Driver

  • i want to KNOW WHAT HEARTLESS, CRUEL, GODLESS REPROBATES FOUND A MOTHER GUILTY OF HOMOCIDE FOR HER CHILD BEING KILLED IN A HIT AND RUN… ACCIDENT!!! ACCIDENT!! BY GOD, MAY THE WRATH MOVE TO STRIKE THOSE REPROBATES DOWN IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!

    #
    I AM TELLING YOU IF THEY ARE NOT ELECT AND BLOOD BOUGHT MAY THE ANGEL OF DEATH MEET THEM AND STRIKE THEM DOWN IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!
    2 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Laura Lee YOU’RE GOING TO PAY A HIGHER PRICE THAN YOU ATTEMPT TO EXACT FROM A GRIEVING MOTHER WHO LOST HER CHILD IN AN ACCIDENT!! YOU FILTHY SCOUNDRELS WHO STATED SHE WAS GUILTY OF HOMOCIDE!!! REPROBATES!! BE STRICKEN DEAD IN THE NAME OF JESUS!!!

    I bear not the Sword in vain — and I AM REALLY QUITE DONE HOLDING BACK THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THIS GODLESS NATION THAT DOES NOT RESPECT AND AFFIRM MOTHERHOOD AND DARES TO TOUCH GOD’S ANOINTED.

    IF YOU THINK I DON’T BEAR MORE AUTHORITY THAN THE JUDGE IN THAT COURTROOM — I DO.

    Read again Romans 13. That scripture is about the anointed of God releasing the wrath of God by SUPERNATURAL MEANS AS THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.

  • OMG!!!! Are they serioiusly contending that if there were two lines painted on the road and she had walked between them…the guy WOULD HAVE STOPPED?????? The same guy who hit other people too? This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have read in a long time. Shame on the prosecutor for charging her and DOUBLE SHAME on the jury for finding her guilty!!!
    This is NOT my America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The judge and the prosecutor need to be charged incompetence.

  • this is insane I just hope the driver and the judge have the same thing happen to them
    and see if the driver walks after 6 months
    that’s the Criminal Justice System for you
    IT’S JUSTICE FOR CRIMINALS !!!
    I JUST HOPE THAT EVERY TIME A DRUNK DRIVER GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL AND CRASHES THEY ARE THE ONES WHO GET KILLED NOT THE INNOCENT ONES
    DIE ALL OF YOU DRUNK DRIVERS DIE DIE DIE

  • When I took driving lessons I was taught that a pedestrian ALWAYS has the right of way.

    So now people walking out of grocery stores are fair game!! (sarcasm)

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