(xposted on Advocacy/Safety)
I ran a search for this but didn't find any posts referencing it. This isn't cycling related, but antagonistic hostile drivers are something both drivers and cyclists fear.
This one caused the death of two drivers, and 1.5 years later is being sentenced to life + 20. I wish the story had garnered more attention, as I feel it's important case which can be used to potentially up the punishment ante in future cases.
My views, (from my blog below)
As Jason Reynolds accurately whined about during sentencing, this has been a story of interest for the past year. In November 2005, (a year in which he received four reckless driving citations), Jason Reynold’s antagonistic driving caused two deaths on a Denver interstate. Driver Kelvin Norman was apparently not driving at an adequate speed for Reynolds, inciting Reynolds whipped in front of him and slammed on his brakes. This caused Norman to swerve and careen over into the median, taking another car driven by Greg Boss with him. Both drivers died instantly.
Reynolds argued what he did with his vehicle has no effect on others, and he was not responsible for either death. (Photo of local ******* Jason Reynolds from KUSA).
The only intelligent thing Reynolds said was his accusation of the media “witch hunting” him. He blames the media and public interest for causing his prosecution and sentencing.
Well of course the media followed him, because it’s a damn fascinating story. We’ve all seen people practice “vengeful” driving: Speeding up to re-cut off the driver that originally cut them off. Or slamming on their brakes to “punish” a tailgater. Many have done it, however in this case his vengeful actions DIRECTLY caused two deaths. Since I’m not a juror I have the liberty to opine that he just looks like a dick: He carries the appearance of a smug, arrogant, conscienceless wife beating *******, concerned only with his shallow self. He makes even the most materialistic money grubbing slum lord look like Ghandi.
Larry Pozner, from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, (run for the hills), feels differently. In the Washington Times article he scoffs at linking a road rage death to first degree murder. A vehicular homicide prosecution usually garners a 10-15 year sentence.
Arapahoe County DA Carol Chambers fought for first degree murder. She persued Reynolds and prosecuted this *******. She just set a precedent that CARS CAN BE WEAPONS, and using a car to kill someone, even without premeditation, is no different than using a gun. Let his trial, sentencing, and media with hunt be a lesson to those tempted to use their cars as weapons. If not, I hope that their court follows the benchmark of the Reynolds case.
Washington Times Article Rocky Mountain News quote:
The 34-year-old said the crash that killed two men whose families sat in the courtroom Monday wasn’t his fault, and he put the blame for his conviction on “media *****s,” prosecutors and what he said was a misled jury. Reynolds’ comments drew a quick rebuke from Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour, who handed two life sentences to the first person in Colorado’s history to be convicted of first-degree murder for deaths resulting from road rage.
“Mr. Reynolds, you might as well have been standing in the middle of the highway with a gun pointed at people,” Samour told Reynolds. “You used your car as a weapon, and you played Russian roulette.”
Reynolds tailgated Kelvin Norman then cut in front of Norman’s Toyota 4Runner and slammed on the brakes, setting in motion the carnage on E-470 east of Parker Road on Nov. 8, 2005. Norman, a popular 50-year-old soccer coach, swerved to avoid Reynolds’ Jeep Wrangler and lost control of his vehicle, which rolled across the median and landed on top of a car driven by Greg Boss, a 35-year-old Postal Service special agent.
The crash killed both men instantly.
Rot in prison Jason Reynolds.