Posted on February 15th, 2011 at 11:33 am.
“Given the circumstances, it seems like issuing a citation would probably not stand up in court. Any person could go in and say, ‘It’s dark, rainy, there’s this little red light in the road’. I think any judge would toss that citation out’.”
— Det. Sgt. Jim Shumway, Beaverton Police Department
The community is trying to understand what happened in Saturday’s fatal traffic crash that resulted in the death of 47-year old Bret Lewis. In the meantime, Police investigators work on their investigation, advocates have swung into action, and family and friends grieve at the senseless loss of life.
As I mentioned in my initial report, the police statement about the crash seemed (to me at least) to go out of its way to absolve the motor vehicle operator (now identified as 48-year old James Nguyen of Beaverton) of any wrongdoing. Mr. Nguyen didn’t intend to kill anyone Saturday night; but as a vehicle operator, he has an important legal (and moral) responsibility to use enough care and caution so as to not hit another person who is operating their vehicle legally (which it seems like Lewis was doing) on the same road.
To learn more about the crash and about concerns with how it was framed by police, I had a conversation yesterday with Beaverton Police Department Detective Sergeant Jim Shumway. Sgt. Shumway is the Public Information Officer who wrote the press statement about this crash.