"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bad Apples (Ralph Kramden Memorial Edition) 

Remember that bus that burned during the Hurricane Rita evacuation, killing 23 elderly passengers? Remember how we learned that the company that operated the bus, Global Limo, Inc., had a long history of "[f]inancial, legal and regulatory difficulties," including longstanding, well-documented brake problems? Remember how the bus driver, 37-year-old Juan Robles Gutiérrez, was hailed as a hero for saving a number of passengers from the flames?

It may surprise you to learn that Global Limo, Inc., although it has been ordered to suspend operations, has so far been spared criminal charges. Mr. Gutiérrez, on the other hand, has been in custody for immigration violations since the incident and now faces charges of negligent homicide. Apparently, in Texas, there's an "it's always the drivers' fault" doctrine of criminal responsibility with which I had not previously been acquainted:
"The bus is under his care, custody and control and so is everyone on board," said Sgt. Don Peritz.

"Safe transportation from the nursing home to the final destination is his responsibility. Based on the end result, he failed in that responsibility."

There, that's tidy.




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