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View Poll Results: Who's at fault?
I blame the motorcyclist. 12 42.86%
I blame the cop that initiated the accident. 15 53.57%
Freak accident. Nobody is to blame. 1 3.57%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-31-07, 11:40 AM   #1
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Not quite fair:

Click here for the news story.

The motorcyclist is being blamed for the crash? I guess I don't see how a cop crashing into another car, is the motorcyclist's fault.

What do you think?
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Old 05-31-07, 11:45 AM   #2
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You can't gather enough data from a measly news story to place blame, so why are you trying? You can't really know unless you were there.

However, that being said......
Quote:
Officers said that a Prince George's County officer in a cruiser was chasing a motorcycle. Police said the motorcycle cut off a pickup truck, and the officer's cruiser then collided with the pickup.
It certainly sounds like it "could" be the motorcyclists fault.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:45 AM   #3
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Motorcyclists was being chased. If he had not run, then the police officer would not have tried the manuever which resulted in this crash.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:45 AM   #4
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If they can't pursue safely, they shouldn't pursue.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:47 AM   #5
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If the motorcycle did nothing wrong then he shouldn't have run. Then the cruiser wouldn't have chased.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:50 AM   #6
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Old 05-31-07, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin' Jack
If they can't pursue safely, they shouldn't pursue.
I agree here, though they'll need a scapegoat for the carnage, and the cops can do no wrong, I guess. Don't police departments typically get sued for stuff like this? Don't many departments prohibit high-speed pursuits for "low-level" crimes?

The motorcylist was likely just "speeding", like everyone else on the beltway (I used to live there, I know), and for that, the cop had to pursue at all costs and kill people.

Quote:
Police said the motorcycle was black with one rider on board.
That narrows it down. Wait, if it had two wheels, I think I know who it was!

Last edited by vtjim; 05-31-07 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin' Jack
If they can't pursue safely, they shouldn't pursue.
Generally the case, yes.

There was a recent Supreme Court decision along these lines where the person who was being pursued in a high speed chase through a populated area ended up wrecking and getting paralyzed. The person then sued the police department.

The court ruled 8-1 that the officers were not at fault. The one dissenting opinion cited that the police had gotten the license tag numbers and should have stopped chasing due to dangerous speeds in a populated area.

Will need to look up the reference on this one....

Edit: Here's the story from April 2007. It was actually about the the police ramming the car and causing the person to wreck and become paralyzed.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
Motorcyclists was being chased. If he had not run, then the police officer would not have tried the manuever which resulted in this crash.

This is a terrible argument.

If I hadn't created this thread, you could not have posted in it. But once the thread was here, it was your choice. You simply cannot say what you could have/would have/should have done.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
This is a terrible argument.

If I hadn't created this thread, you could not have posted in it. But once the thread was here, it was your choice. You simply cannot say what you could have/would have/should have done.
I think it is a very valid argument. The motorcyclist created the situation by running. If he had not of run, the officers would most likely have been somewhere else, not trying to setup a roadblock to stop the motorcyclists. I think if you run from police, you are responsible for any damage that occurs in the chase.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:08 PM   #11
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well...hard to say from the article but I voted for the blaming the cop because it's very similar to "stray bullets" or other car chase related civilian deaths.

Was the motorcycle bad: yes, should have just pulled over
Did the cop cause the accident: sounds like he did. instead of waiting for another opportunity, the cop decided to do that little Knight rider stunt and wasted civilians in the process.

Was it worth it? Ofcourse not....that's why more and more jursidictions call off chases that get hairy rather than cause civilian casualties to enforce some traffick infraction.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr
I think it is a very valid argument. The motorcyclist created the situation by running. If he had not of run, the officers would most likely have been somewhere else, not trying to setup a roadblock to stop the motorcyclists. I think if you run from police, you are responsible for any damage that occurs in the chase.

If you run from the police, can you control what the police do? If they couldn't safely set up the roadblock, they shouldn't have. The gambled with civilian lives and lost.

How do you roadblock a motorcycle anyways?
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Old 05-31-07, 12:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerglide

Was the motorcycle bad: yes, should have just pulled over
Did the cop cause the accident: sounds like he did. instead of waiting for another opportunity, the cop decided to do that little Knight rider stunt and wasted civilians in the process.
.
quote from news story

"Officers said that a Prince George's County officer in a cruiser was chasing a motorcycle. Police said the motorcycle cut off a pickup truck, and the officer's cruiser then collided with the pickup."

Sounds like the cyclist caused the wreck.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr
quote from news story

"Officers said that a Prince George's County officer in a cruiser was chasing a motorcycle. Police said the motorcycle cut off a pickup truck, and the officer's cruiser then collided with the pickup."

Sounds like the cyclist caused the wreck.

I find it hard to believe that an officer in pursuit couldn't see past a motorcycle. Don't buy it for one second.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
This is a terrible argument.

If I hadn't created this thread, you could not have posted in it. But once the thread was here, it was your choice. You simply cannot say what you could have/would have/should have done.
You sir are entitled to your opinion. You asked for others. WTF?

The guy on the motorcycle ran from the police. This is a crime. In the commision of this crime, and accident happened. This accident led to the death of innocent people. Had the motorcyclist decided not to run from the police, then this would not have occurred. Simple cause and effect.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr
quote from news story

"Officers said that a Prince George's County officer in a cruiser was chasing a motorcycle. Police said the motorcycle cut off a pickup truck, and the officer's cruiser then collided with the pickup."

Sounds like the cyclist caused the wreck.

yeah that confused me a bit because it says also:



Quote:
Originally Posted by wgal.com
The chain reaction crash happened Wednesday night when an officer tried to position his car to stop the speeding biker. Instead the biker swerved and sped off, but the officer's car hit a civilian car that then rolled down an embankment into oncoming traffic where five other cars crashed.
Its interesting to discuss in the foo but bottomw line we just don't have engough info I suppose....

I still think this type of things happen too often....especially in LA where chases are almost daily.
I always think "It's not worth endangering everyone by driving 95 mph chasing down a dude with an expired registration sticker"
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Old 05-31-07, 12:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
You sir are entitled to your opinion. You asked for others. WTF?

The guy on the motorcycle ran from the police. This is a crime. In the commision of this crime, and accident happened. This accident led to the death of innocent people. Had the motorcyclist decided not to run from the police, then this would not have occurred. Simple cause and effect.

But the cop caused the accident. The motorcycle started the events, but if I was an insurance company, I would ask the question "who caused the accident" and the police would reply: "Officer so and so... but we were chasing HIM!". And I would say "so, the officer caused the accident?" "yeah, but..." end of conversation.

I don't mean to come across as a jackass, but the "If" argument isn't very strong.

Fact: The Officer started the accident

Fact: The motorcyclist did what everybody does when they run... He evaded a poorly planned roadblock.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
But the cop caused the accident. The motorcycle started the events, but if I was an insurance company, I would ask the question "who caused the accident" and the police would reply: "Officer so and so... but we were chasing HIM!". And I would say "so, the officer caused the accident?" "yeah, but..." end of conversation.

I don't mean to come across as a jackass, but the "If" argument isn't very strong.

Fact: The Officer started the accident

Fact: The motorcyclist did what everybody does when they run... He evaded a poorly planned roadblock.
Well, it seems you have made up your mind completely. Based on the article, I can't say who would win in a court, but I would put my money on the motorcyclist being found to be the cause.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
You can't gather enough data from a measly news story to place blame, so why are you trying? You can't really know unless you were there.

However, that being said......


It certainly sounds like it "could" be the motorcyclists fault.
Don't police cruisers have only a few situations where they are legally permitted to chase a vehicle?
Like if the driver is suspected DUI, but not if they are speeding. So if the motorcyclist was just speeding, it would have been the cops fault, right?
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Old 05-31-07, 12:28 PM   #20
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It depends if the truck swerved into the police cruiser, or the officer tried to pull a stunt.

Right now the motorcyclist looks to be the most likely to be faulted for it, although an officer driving in a dangerous manner could be at fault as well (though probably would never see a second in court over it, since people will immediately claim the person running was the cause...)

My reasoning behind it is this: if the officer decided to make a very risky maneuver, then he made that decision on his own and needs to be accountable for it. Accountability is part of responsibility, and if one does not exist, then the other does not either. That said, I do think the motorcyclist should be an accessory if the officer was found responsible. Fair is fair, he did have a part to play in it.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
But the cop caused the accident. The motorcycle started the events, but if I was an insurance company, I would ask the question "who caused the accident" and the police would reply: "Officer so and so... but we were chasing HIM!". And I would say "so, the officer caused the accident?" "yeah, but..." end of conversation.

I don't mean to come across as a jackass, but the "If" argument isn't very strong.

Fact: The Officer started the accident

Fact: The motorcyclist did what everybody does when they run... He evaded a poorly planned roadblock.
What seems rational doesn't always jive. Check my post above regarding the Supreme Court's decision about the leeway provided to cops in these types of situations.

Cops get a LOT of room in their pursuit of justice in this terror filled world of ours.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
Well, it seems you have made up your mind completely. Based on the article, I can't say who would win in a court, but I would put my money on the motorcyclist being found to be the cause.

I wasn't asking anybody to change my mind for me. I clearly stated my thoughts in my first post.

If a baseball player is stealing second base, and the pitcher throws the ball and it hits somebody in the head knocking them out... is it the runner's fault?

That is how I see it.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:31 PM   #23
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Well the motorcyclist got away so its all good.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModoVincere
Had the motorcyclist decided not to run from the police, then this would not have occurred. Simple cause and effect.
You can say the exact same thing about the police deciding to chase the suspect.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximan1
Don't police cruisers have only a few situations where they are legally permitted to chase a vehicle?
Like if the driver is suspected DUI, but not if they are speeding. So if the motorcyclist was just speeding, it would have been the cops fault, right?
Yes, that's generally true, but it varies from state to state and I don't know the laws in that state (and neither does O.P. I'm guessing). Also....what makes you think the motorcycle was "just speeding". It says the cop positioned his car to try to stop a speeding motorcycle, that doesn't necessarily say to me that speeding was his offense....just that he was speeding away and they were trying to stop him. I don't think we know what they were chasing him for from that article.

It really boils down on a bigger pet peeve of mine. People, generally, will read a 2 paragraph article or see a 3 minute news story on TV and make decisions about a case. They will scream for the chair for somebody accused of killing <insert name here> and everybody assumes guilt from a little news story without knowing 90% of the real facts in the case. It's quite annoying, IMO. I think that is why America has the "innocent until proven guilty" system and not the other way around like some countries.
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