One of the chapters in my upcoming book, Dangerous By Design, is Lessons Learned Too Late, in which I examine how some people learn what happens to the brain when drugs are taken, only when they wake up in a hospital emergency room and do not know how they got there or that they were responsible for a terrible traffic accident in which several people were killed.
“Fatal Drunk Driving Crash” is headlines and television news in Las Vegas and elsewhere across the country reporting that promising Las Vegas Raiders soccer player Henry Ruggs III was involved in a fiery accident.
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The coverage goes a step further and tells us car driver Tony Rodriguez and another passerby stopped to help and tried desperately to pull the driver out of the Toyota Ruggs hit but couldn’t get her out because the car is fast was completely on fire, causing both men to move away from the heat and smoke of the burning car.
These two brave men watched as 23 year old Tina Tintor was burned alive. The man who helped Rodriguez, a security guard at a nearby hotel, was so traumatized that he returned to the hotel but couldn’t speak to anyone other than telling his colleagues that he was angry about what he had seen .
Learn from research
The reason all airplane crashes are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is to conclusively determine why an airplane crashed and make their investigation and conclusions of the crash public so that everyone understands what happened and what was necessary is to prevent another crash from happening for the same reason.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can, and usually does, act on the recommendation (s) of the NTSB. Sometimes it means landing some or all of similar makes of aircraft until the aircraft manufacturer has demonstrated that corrective action has been taken and that the aircraft is safe to fly again.
If it turns out to be a pilot error or a complete failure of the flight crew, this will also be published. In other words, we learn from others so that a particular crash doesn’t happen again.
Street Scene readers work as a community of caring people and bring with them knowledge of places that require attention in one area or another in order to increase road safety. Some who write to Street Scene have a special understanding of what needs to be fixed, many just know something is wrong and ask Street Scene to investigate.
What we do by posting our findings and recommendations on what remedial action is best needed and which agency is best placed to respond. If, however, the cause of the accident points to the human being, it becomes obvious that the motorists, who are responsible for their own vehicle operation, have to remedy the situation.
With the spirit of learning from the experiences of others, we bring this latest, very public tragedy to this side.
Dangers of DUI
Nevada prosecutors are charging the Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III with DUI manslaughter after toxicology tests showed a blood alcohol level of 0.161%, double the Nevada legal limit of 0.08% when he was in the rear of one Toyota crashed and Tintor and they killed dog. (.08 is pretty universal, and it’s also the Florida legal limit for non-commercial drivers age 21 and older.) The report used by prosecutors at the Ruggs loan hearing claims Tintor survived the first impact and was burned.
Nobody with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.161 would have the cognitive ability to understand every indication of vehicle speed. Some drivers who are under the influence travel 100+ mph on residential streets, others may travel 20 mph on the interstate. One such interstate traveler angrily asked why I was stopping him and complained that he was the only one not driving too fast because he had watched everyone zoom past him as if he were standing still.
So when prosecutors downloaded the speed information from Rugg’s cars EDR (Event Data Recorder), Mr. Ruggs would be offended that he was driving the Toyota 156 mph two seconds before the impact. Likewise, I dare say that Mr Ruggs would take offense at his BAC result.
Take care of your friends
It is reported that Ruggs and his girlfriend were at a golf driving range before the crash, where they both found it weird hitting a golf ball after consuming alcoholic beverages. In the public video, everyone can see Riggs swing away and his girlfriend giggle at his fruitless gestures trying to hit a golf ball. This was a fun night after all.
This closes the circle. It doesn’t require double the legal BAC limit to be legally intoxicated. If a fun night out calls for you to consume alcoholic beverages or other drugs, stay away from your car.
Do not attempt to drive a vehicle on the road or off-road, and keep in mind that .08 might be the “legal limit” in your state, but you may not be able to do .02 depending on your last meal, body weight, and rest time able to recognize the vehicle speed or other critical conditions, such as. B. a child running in front of your car.
Unfortunately, Henry Ruggs III is not unique in this type of tragedy, but his celebrity status makes what he has done a very public tragedy. In March 2012, in Tallahassee, two children and an adult were killed in an eerily similar rear-end collision at the intersection of US-90, West Tennessee Street and US-27, North Monroe Street. One of Tallahassee’s most notorious high traffic accident intersections.
The next time you or a friend or someone in your family makes a decision to celebrate, make sure no one gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle drunk.
There are several options for those who need to party with drugs – call a cab, call a friend, Uber, Lyft, etc.
I leave each of you with your own personal deliberations, thoughts, and willingness to share this terrible tragedy with your important friends and loved ones. So that it is not too late to study.
Philip Stuart is a retired Florida State Trooper, Traffic Operations Projects Engineer, and Forensics Expert Witness. Write to [email protected].
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