JUSTICE FOR JOE: POLICE WON'T CHARGE RECKLESS TEEN WHOSE CRASH KILLED JOE
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Thursday, October 26, 2017, started out like any other normal day for Joe, who lived in Elkton, Maryland. A day filled with playing with his current dog Lucy, taking her for walks around the neighborhood, stopping and talking to his neighbors along the way who were like second kin to him; maybe taking the older ones to the food store; calling and speaking to his friends; making plans for a dinner date the following Saturday night; and running errands. But Joe’s day ended in an 18 week nightmare, fighting for his life, unable to breathe with collapsed lungs and a brain flooded with blood. Lucy sat at home, alone for almost 15 hours, wondering where her daddy went. The next morning Joe's family learned that they must rush to the ICU where Joe was dying.
At 9:45 pm on the 26th, in the dark of night, on an unlit Maryland divided highway, a new 16 year old driver rushed from Maryland to his distant home below Philadelphia to meet the 11:00 pm curfew of his Pennsylvania learners driver's license. He sped along at 61-73 mph in a posted 50 mph zone without his headlights being turned on. In Elkton, near Joe's home, he then crashed into Joe Neuberger's Nissan Versa whose headlights were turned on. Joe cautiously was crossing over at a marked intersection, after he had waited for a northbound truck to pass before entering the intersection. He never saw the unlit speeding teenager who hit and eventually killed him.
Here is a link to a 10 second video of the crash which had to be dragged out of the Maryland State Police. Joe comes in from the left, lets the truck pass, and almost makes it across the intersection when the teenager comes in from the right and slams into Joe’s vehicle.
Joe was hospitalized for 18 weeks with major injuries which included: traumatic brain injury, acute subdural hematoma, acute respiratory failure, a closed fracture of his cervical spine, a right rib fracture, a sacral fracture, a pelvic fracture, and a traumatic rupture of his bladder. He finally died when getting him off the respirator failed. With his brain and other injuries, only the most powerful opiate pain killers could curb his torment during his unsuccessful fight for life.
But, instead of facing charges for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence (a 10 year felony in Maryland), or vehicular manslaughter with criminal negligence (a 3 year Maryland misdemeanor), reckless driving, negligent driving, speeding, or just failing to obey the driving rules for roadways, this new driver was not charged with any Maryland traffic offense whatsoever, let alone any violation of Maryland criminal law.
Sensing a cover-up, Joe's family fought back and hired two independent experts in accident reconstruction. Their reports have found dozens of major and lesser failures in conducting a professional investigation of any high speed crash with serious injuries. The question also has been raised whether personal or political connections are protecting this young driver.
As examples of poor or suspicious police work, the road trooper in his whitewash report refused to identify an actual eyewitness to the crash who had been interviewed. But Joe's family immediately found her and she advised them that she was on the scene that evening, had called 911, and was interviewed as an eyewitness by the police at that time. She noted that other vehicles were flashing their high-beams to the speeding teen driver in an attempt to alert him that his lights were not turned on. But to no avail. Oblivious, he powered on at a high rate of speed to get home to Garnet Valley, PA.
Nor did the careless road trooper even correctly list the posted speed limit on this road as 50 mph but, instead, he put it down as 55 mph. 61-73 in a 55 zone does look like a lesser violation, we suppose, than 61-73 in a 50 zone.
Fortunately, pictures of the two horribly mangled vehicles could not be swept under the rug.
Both their airbags inflated, but mysteriously no one transported the teen driver to the hospital where blood and drug testing would occur while confirming whether he suffered any internal injuries. Was there a cover-up in failing to do drug or alcohol testing of an obviously reckless teen driver?
Properly investigated, drug or alcohol use, coupled with a speed of 61-73 mph in a 50 mph zone, and no use of headlights in the coal-mine-dark-of-night with no street lights nearby, could have resulted in this teen facing a 10 year felony charge in a death case. But that potential evidence disappeared by not drug testing a 16 year old novice driver! How can this be? Moreover, other vital evidence from the scene was not preserved either.
So Joe is dead. The teenager driver who killed him was speeding and driving with his headlights off in the dark of night yet he didn’t even receive a traffic ticket. Both the eye witness and video evidence plainly demonstrate all of this. What else is going on here?
Please sign this petition and vote YES to the statement that -- "The death of Joe Neuberger should be independently reviewed and appropriate criminal charges should be filed against the driver who took his life."
The law should be applied in an even-handed fashion in this egregious motor vehicle accident death case. Justice for Joe demands no less.
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