Can You Believe It?
Bizarre Hit and Run Cases or News



To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice. - Confucius


Former four term Pennsylvania Congressman Thomas W Druce, who is serving a two to four year sentence for the hit and run death of 42-year-old Kenneth Cains on July 27, 1999, wants out early. Druce almost got away with the hit and run, after secretly having his vehicle repaired, until a mysterious letter showed up at a local media outlet, revealing what had happened. Finally, in September 2000, Druce pled guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident, tampering with evidence and insurance fraud. But after a few weeks in prison, he was allowed out during an appeal. So for 3-1/2 years, Druce lived a normal life, with a curfew that required him to ask permission to be out of his house between 10 pm at night and 6 am in the morning. Finally, in May of this year, Druce was ordered back to his minimum security prison to begin serving the sentence.

Now Druce wants credit for those 8 hours he had to spend home at night the last 3-1/2 years as time served toward his sentence!

Photo courtesy Associated Press

(Update - 2/11/05 - State Superior Court denies Druce credit for enjoying a fairly normal life while he appealled his sentence)
(Update - 2/24/06 - Parole Board grants Druce parole effective 3/13/06)
(Update - 3/13/06 - Druce walks out of prison with $13)


Slap in The Face

On October 22, 1996, after receiving an "advisory letter" from the DMV two years before warning that his license was about to be revoked due to excessive "points, Tennessee State Senator Carl Koella struck and killed 52 year old Terry Barnard, retired General Motors engineer and motorcyclist. After stopping to see that Barnard was dead, he is said to have admitted his guilt to others that had stopped, then drove home. The case was handled in the typically "good old white boy" system that has sadly given the South its redneck stigma. Although indicted by a grand jury for felony hit and run, the Senator was slapped on the hand and sentenced to 30 days of community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor hit and run. On January 14, 1998, still serving Senator Koella died of heart trouble, having served 26 years in office. Months after his death, his insurance company settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.5 million.

On April 7, 1999, to honor the former Senator, Tennessee legislature passed and Governor Don Sundquist signed Senate Bill 923, sponsored by Koella's chosen successor. This bill did not rename a state building, or a state park, or another state project to honor his 26 years of service. No, the state of Tennessee, in what many outside the state called completely callous, designated "that segment of Interstate Highway 140 beginning at its intersection with Interstate 40 in Knox County to its terminus at U.S. Highway 321 in Blount County is hereby designated as the "Senator Carl O. Koella, Jr.. Memorial Highway" as a lasting tribute to this exemplary public servant".

  

  • Note - before turning in front of Terry Barnard later that evening, Senator Koella had visited Rockford, Tennessee with Governor Sundquist. In 2002, the Rockford Police Department was disbanded after a police sergeant was charged with intentionally swerving into the path of a motorcyclist, killing him.  


 

8-29-2004 Cobb County, Georgia

In a story that can only be described as horribly gruesome, 23-year-old Francis Daniel Brohm was beheaded when he stuck his head out the passenger door window of a pickup truck and the driver of the vehicle, drove too close to a telephone pole guide wire. That driver, 21 year old John Kemper Hutcherson, continued the 12 mile drive home and went to bed in blood soaked clothing. The headless body of his friend was discovered the next morning by a neighbor, hanging out of the pickup. The severed head was discovered later by police. The accident happened after the two friends left a bar. 


Be Warned - Hit and Run is NOT a crime in Mexico

Excerpts taken from the Mercury News posted Mar 25, 2005
Driver escapes charges in death
VICTIM'S FAMILY ANGRY AFTER HIT-RUN INCIDENT THAT KILLED GILROY TEEN ON VACATION IN MEXICO

By Edwin Garcia

The hit-and-run driver who killed a Valley Christian High School senior vacationing near Cancun last week won't face criminal charges, a Mexican police official said Thursday

Although the driver turned himself in Saturday, about eight hours after crashing into 17-year-old J.R. Adams (the author of this article uses the nickname of J.R. Adams - elsewhere in the article the victims name was given as Lovell Keith Adams) of Gilroy, investigators concluded he committed no crime, said Cmdr. Carlos Perez of the Playa del Carmen Police Department.

``He didn't notice when the person crossed the traffic lane, he couldn't help but run him over,'' said Perez, who noted that hit-and-run isn't considered a violation in Mexico. He also would not release the name of the driver.

The commander also said investigators ruled that J.R. was to blame for his own death, for crossing in an unsafe manner, on a highway where there are no street lights, no crosswalks and where pedestrian deaths are not unusual.......

Medina said investigators never spoke with J.R.'s friends and never took their statements. Perez said the driver's declaration was sufficient to conclude that the crash was accidental.

Perez, the police commander, praised the driver for turning himself in the next day, saying that type of ``civil tact'' rarely happens.

Need more proof?

Court Blocks Arrest Of Man Who Killed American On Baja Beach
Driver Of Car That Hit Santa Barbara Woman Identified

POSTED: 10:49 am PDT April 15, 2005

ROSARITO, Mexico -- Police have identified the driver who hit two Americans while drag racing on a beach here last month, but he has avoided arrest by filing a court injunction, investigators said Thursday.

Amy Ruth Kent, 24, of Santa Barbara, California, died instantly when she was hit by the car March 20. Her companion, Joseph Andre Escalante, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital in California.

Witnesses told police that the two were resting on the sand in front of a restaurant when they were hit by a man driving a Honda. The driver fled the scene.

Maria Teresa Valadez, a deputy attorney general for Baja California state, which includes Rosarito, said at a news conference that six witnesses reported the 19-year-old owner of the Honda was driving at the time of the accident, but that an injunction filed by his lawyers prevented his arrest.

She said state prosecutors planned to ask a judge to lift the injunction, but that even if the suspect is arrested, he can be released on bail of only about $455 because he faces charges no more serious than accidental slaying -- even though witnesses said he was illegally drag racing at the time of the accident.

Valadez said authorities were able to locate the car parked outside a Rosarito home belonging to the suspect several days after the hit-and-run. They found the suspect inside, but were unable to detain him.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.


On April 4, 2002, Brian Matthews was sentenced after a plea bargain in connection to the hit-and-run death of 13-year-old Cassie Pool last August. He was sentenced to two years in state prison. But in a stunning reversal Thursday, Sacramento County Judge Patrick Marlette, who admitted that the sentence was too harsh for the plea bargain, dramatically reduced the original sentence. He said that the right thing to do was to not send him to prison. And he even apologized for doing so. "The judge explained that the main reason for the change was that prosecutors failed to give him all of the facts of the case before he approved a pre-sentencing plea bargain. In other words, he wasn't aware that Matthews was reaching for a cell phone when Pool darted out in front of him. He wasn't aware Matthews was weaving in and out of traffic to flee the accident scene. Had Marlette known that, coupled with the fact that Matthews turned himself in to police five hours later with alcohol on his breath, he said that he clearly would have stuck with the harsher sentence. "I believe in my heart that he was responsible for the death. And he knew what had happened, and that he had criminal liability for that," Marlette said. The judge said he had to follow the rule of law, which was the promise of the plea agreement, "not common sense." (KCRA 4/25/2002)


Historical Victim

On July 1st, 1863, 31 year old Guilford Mace, 1st Sergeant of Company F, 147th NY Infantry Regiment, was killed on the first day of the epic Civil War battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The year before his death, Guilford and his wife Catherine, gave birth to his second son, Guilford Dudley Mace. Dudley would see many changes in his life as he grew older, and among them was the invention of the automobile. On January 7, 1935, he left his job at the Sealright corporation plant, visited for a moment with a police officer, and walked towards home. Moments later, the officer saw a car speed by and heard a thud. Dudley would die at 74 years of age. The hit and run driver surrendered later that day and received a "deferred sentence, was placed on probation for a year and sentence was deferred for that length of time".


Deadly Roads - Fatal Hit and Run Accidents