DUI conviction not enough to get bus driver banned from job

NEW YORK (AP) — A bus driver who barreled through a red light and slammed into another bus in New York City this month, killing himself and two others, had a history of accidents and a recent conviction for driving drunk, but he was legally allowed to drive under federal rules that grant one strike before banning a driver for life.

Raymond Mong lost a job as a New York City bus driver in 2015 after pleading guilty to an off-duty, hit-and-run, drunken-driving crash in Connecticut. He was still serving 18 months’ probation when he got into another crash in his personal vehicle in June of 2016.

Neither of those wrecks, though, kept him from legally getting behind the wheel of a bus again.

He got a job with a charter company and had a valid commercial driver’s license on Sept. 18 when he powered his empty bus through an intersection in Queens at nearly twice the 30 mph (48 kph) speed limit, hit another bus, plowed onto a sidewalk and crashed into a building, police said. Sixteen people were hurt in addition to the three killed.

It isn’t clear exactly when Mong started driving for the charter company, a small outfit called the Dahlia Group.

It’s possible his out-of-state conviction slipped through the cracks. Private motorcoach operators aren’t required by federal law to do a criminal background check on employees, though the rules differ for school bus drivers or anyone carrying hazardous materials. And there’s no clearinghouse where companies can search a prospective employee’s criminally bad driving record.

New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles is supposed to be informed whenever a driver is hired so it can run various background checks, but a spokeswoman for the agency said Dahlia never did so.

But even if that notification had been made, it wouldn’t necessarily have precluded Mong from driving.

A LESSON IN GOVERNMENT

A teacher was teaching her second grade class about the government, so for homework that one day, she told her her students to ask their parents what the government is.

When Little Johnny got home that day, he went up to his dad and ask his what the government was.

His dad thought for a while and answered, ”Look at it this way: I’m the president, your mom is Congress, your maid is the work force, you are the people and your baby brother is the future.”

”I still don’t get it” responded the Little Johnny.

”Why don’t you sleep on it then? Maybe you’ll understand it better,” said the dad.

”Okay then…good night” said Little Jonny went off to bed. In the middle of the night, Little Johnny was awakened by his baby brother’s crying. He went to his baby brother’s crib and found that his baby brother had taken a crap in his diaper. So Little Johnny went to his parent’s room to get help. When he got to his parent’s bedroom, he looked through the keyhole to check if his parents were asleep. Through the keyhole he saw his mom loudly snoring, but his dad wasn’t there. So he went to the maid’s room. When he looked through the maid’s room keyhole, he saw his dad having sex with his maid. Little Johnny was surprised, but then he just realized something and thinks aloud, ”OH!! Now I understand the government! The President is screwing the work force, Congress is fast asleep, nobody cares about the people, and the future is full of s**t!”

Driver in Arvada who caused multi-fatal crash was under influence of meth.

Three people were killed and another was critically injured after a seven-vehicle crash in Arvada on Sunday evening.A man suspected of driving under the influence and causing a seven-vehicle wreck in Arvada, which killed four people, including himself, had methamphetamine in his system.Christopher Farr, 43, of Arvada, was driving a Cadillac SUV on the night of Sept. 10 when it collided with a Ford F150 pickup on Ward Road, Arvada police said.Farr died on Sept. 13 at a local hospital of injuries suffered in the crash. On Wednesday, Arvada police said that he was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the multi-fatal crash.Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan said Farr had 400 nanograms of the drug in his system, according to a toxicology report. “It is definitely enough to be considered impaired,” she said.Farr had no other drugs, nor alcohol, in his system, according to the report.The criminal investigation focusing on Farr was closed when he died, McGranahan said.RELATED ARTICLESOCTOBER 2, 2017 Suspect in stolen pickup kills pedestrian in Aurora before speeding awaySEPTEMBER 29, 2017 3 killed, 4 injured after car hits bear on Interstate 70SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 Three die after hitting bear on I-70 near RifleSEPTEMBER 28, 2017 Car runs off bridge in Aurora; officers pull driver from wreckage in creekSEPTEMBER 27, 2017 Driver in death of 8-year-old Longmont girl yet to serve 5-month jail sentenceAfter the initial crash, the SUV collided head-on with a Hyundai, driven by 73-year-old Judith Peterson. Peterson and her husband, Alan, 79, died at the scene. Lorene Hicks, 59, a passenger on a motorcycle that was involved in the collision, also died.The deadly crash closed Ward Road in both directions from West 58th Avenue to West 64th Avenue.

Source: Driver in Arvada who caused multi-fatal crash was under influence of meth.

Man charged with hit and run involving family of 7 in buggy

Man charged with hit and run involving family of 7 in buggyTOP NEWSSEP 26, 2017MARK MARONEYReportermmaroney@sungazette.com A 37-year-old Montgomery man who allegedly slammed his pickup truck into the rear of a horse-drawn buggy with seven family members in it and drove away from the scene on Route 54 Sunday night was jailed Monday following his court arraignment.“I really, really screwed up,” Christopher Cranmer said to District Judge Christian D. Frey who implored him not to say another word while he was without an attorney. State police listed the incident as his sixth driving under the influence of intoxicants charge, with five prior convictions.Cranmer allegedly drove a pickup truck with his passenger, Sylviesue Smith, 37, of Muncy, while intoxicated, police said. It was about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when Cranmer’s vehicle collided with the buggy in the 300 block of Route 54 in Clinton Township.Police arrived to find a mangled horse-drawn buggy and six people requiring transport to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Two were flown by helicopter and the rest were taken by ambulance.The occupants were Christopher Stoltzfus Fisher, Kathryn Fisher and five juveniles ages, 13, 11, 9, 7 and 5.A driver behind the truck told troopers he saw the vehicle hit the rear of the buggy and keep going, police said.A resident saw the truck speed away as the injured Amish family remained, police said.Cranmer was picked up later that evening at his residence in the borough.Arraigned before Frey on multiple counts, including aggravation by vehicle while driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, tapering with or fabricating physical evidence, driving under suspension, reckless driving and failure to render aid, along with several summary traffic offenses, Cranmer was placed in Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $200,000 bail.A preliminary hearing is being scheduled before District Judge Jon Kemp.According to a nursing supervisor, Kathryn Fisher, 33, is in fair condition along with two of the children. A third child has been treated and released. Christopher Fisher, 34, was not admitted into Geisinger Medical Center. Hospital officials didn’t have records on the other two children.Sun-Gazette reporter Ioannis Pashakis contributed to this report.

Source: Man charged with hit and run involving family of 7 in buggy | News, Sports, Jobs – Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Traffic flows through new Gasoline Alley roundabouts as Red Deer County prepares for growth

Major changes to the QEII around Gasoline Alley, and more traffic, mean Red Deer County has been busy with road work in the area, including new roundabouts.The area recently opened its third roundabout, at the intersection of Laura and Liberty Avenues between Trail Appliances and Costco.Part of the construction the county undertook this summer eliminated Township Road 374A, which had run from Liberty Avenue south to Lantern Street. Access to Proform Concrete was maintained, but a stretch of road that ran alongside Trail Appliances no longer exists.Chris Black, Red Deer County construction manager, said roundabouts have numerous benefits such as fewer conflict points with pedestrians and motorists, reduced potential for t-bone collisions, the elimination of head-on and high speed collisions and reductions in fatalities, injuries and crashes.“We are pleased that we have been able to accommodate traffic circles at two new locations on Laura Avenue in Gasoline Alley since modern roundabouts are now proven to be substantially safer than signalized intersections,” said Black in an email.County officials said the project coincided with the major changes to how vehicles get in and out of Gasoline Alley from the south lanes of the QEII.Roundabouts are designed to improve the flow of traffic, and increased traffic in the area is predicted with the development of new businesses and residences.“We anticipate that benefits will also be felt by the developers of existing vacant lots in this area as well as for the new Liberty Landing residential subdivision that is currently under construction,” said Black.There are already roundabouts at the intersections of Leva Avenue and Lantern Street and at Lantern Street and Laura Avenue in Gasoline Alley.Alberta Transportation will construct an additional roundabout at the north end of the west side of Gasoline Alley at the intersection of Leva Avenue and Waskasoo Avenue.Red Deer has also built roundabouts at major intersections in recent years, including two on 67th Street, at the intersections of 30th Avenue and Johnstone Drive.

Source: Traffic flows through new Gasoline Alley roundabouts as Red Deer County prepares for growth – Red Deer Advocate

ACLU sues police department over DUI marijuana arrests

A Georgia police department and one of its officers has been sued for arresting three people based on a report by a “drug recognition expert” who accused each of driving under the influence of marijuana.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed the lawsuit earlier this week in federal court in Atlanta against the Cobb County Police Department, arguing that the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful seizures were violated.

The three plaintiffs — Katelyn Ebner, Princess Mbamara and Ayokunle Oriyomi — were falsely arrested, forced to have blood drawn and trapped in jail for hours “simply because a police officer had a hunch, based on deeply flawed drug-recognition training, that they might have been smoking marijuana,” said Sean J. Young, the ACLU’s legal director.

“At no point did the police officer seek to obtain a warrant or suggest that they were endangering public safety. None of the plaintiffs were under the influence of marijuana, and all tested negative for any cannabinoid metabolites,” the lawsuit said.

Months later, prosecutors dismissed the charges in each case, Young said.

Ebner, 25, of Kennesaw, had no arrest record prior to this case; Mbamara, 27, is an immigrant from Lagos, Nigeria and currently a student at Atlanta Metropolitan State College; and Oriyomi, 21, of Powder Springs, is currently a student at Auburn University.

“All three plaintiffs now have public arrest records that they will have to explain to schools, landlords and employers for the rest of their lives,” the lawsuit said.

A police spokesman did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The police officer, Tracy “T.T.” Carroll, is one of the department’s certified drug recognition experts. He either stopped or participated in a stop of each of the plaintiffs on three separate occasions for “failing to maintain lane.”

“Defendant Carroll did not perform the 12-Step DRE Protocol that was ostensibly created for the purpose of detecting whether someone has been driving under the influence of drugs. Instead he performed a watered-down version of the test” and arrested each of the plaintiffs for driving under the influence of drugs, the lawsuit said.

Carroll was never reprimanded or disciplined for failing to follow DRE Protocol or for making the arrests, the ACLU said.

“Carroll’s pattern and practice of enforcing DUI-drug infractions was to arrest an individual based on nothing more than a hunch, which would be invariably ratified by the results of an ad hoc smattering of tests he administered which were divorced from any rigorous methodology and were without the foundational underpinning necessary to amount to legal justification to arrest,” the lawsuit said.

“The way that Cobb County Police Officers, such as defendant Carroll, are taught to and do administer their testing for the detection of impairment by drugs is designed to make innocent behavior appear incriminating and to make exculpatory behavior appear irrelevant.”

The lawsuit seeks obtain compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys’ fees.

 

Source: ACLU sues police department over DUI marijuana arrests