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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Trooper Ryan Sullivan and the Colorado State Patrol. They get the award for the following-

A good Samaritan who helped push three people out of the path of a pickup truck before being struck and injured has gotten a strange reward for his good deed: A jaywalking ticket.

Family members said 58-year-old bus driver Jim Moffett and another man were helping two elderly women cross a busy Denver street in a snowstorm when he was hit Friday night.

Moffett suffered bleeding in the brain, broken bones, a dislocated shoulder and a possible ruptured spleen. He was in serious but stable condition Wednesday.

The Colorado State Patrol issued the citation. Trooper Ryan Sullivan said that despite Moffett's intentions, jaywalking contributed to the accident.

Moffett had been driving his bus when the two women got off. In the interest of safety, he got out and, together with another passenger, helped the ladies cross.

Moffett's stepson, Ken McDonald, said the driver of the pickup plowed into his stepfather, but not before Moffett pushed the two women out of the way.

When he awoke in intensive care, he learned of the ticket. "His reaction was dazed and confused. I was a little angry," said McDonald.

The other man also was cited for jaywalking, while the pickup driver was cited with careless driving that led to injury. Sullivan said the two elderly women haven't been cited but the investigation is ongoing.

No good deed goes unpunished. Why weren't the two women cited if they jaywalked also.

Trooper Sullivan tries to explain himself-

"We don't ever want to see tragedies like this happen. That is why we can't stress enough for people to be careful and always use crosswalks," Trooper Ryan Sullivan with the Colorado State Patrol said. "We understand Mr. Moffett was doing something with great intentions, but it was still dangerous for anyone to be in the road."
Are you trying to fill some quota trooper Sullivan. Do you enforce every single law on the books, including one's violated by other members of law enforcement? I make a bet you don't for valid reasons and sometimes for not valid reasons. I suppose you'd prefer Moffet not break the law and there be two dead women now because the law is more important.

Mr. Moffet was a hero, but Trooper Ryan Sullivan and the Colorado State Patrol are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.


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Comments (10)

I suppose you'd prefer M... (Below threshold)

I suppose you'd prefer Moffet not break the law and there be two dead women now because the law is more important.

Actually, if he hadn't been walking them in the middle of the road they might have actually crossed where they were supposed to cross - then not only would no one be dead, but he himself wouldn't have been run over. Win-win-win situation.

Falze beat me to it.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Falze beat me to it.

Um, not to bemoan the laws ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Um, not to bemoan the laws of physics, but if that truck barrelled into them in the middle of the road (probably because of poor visibility in the snowstorm), it would have barrelled into them in the crosswalk too.

I wonder if speed and slick roads were contributing factors as well (which, again, wouldn't have changed a THING if they were in the crosswalk).

My FINAL point, I haven't been to Denver recently, and certainly have never seen their bus stops, but in EVERY OTHER CITY that I've been to (and I've been to a bunch), the bus stops are on the corner, not far from the crosswalk. Worst case scenario, they tried crossing BEHIND the bus, and were ~25 ft from the crosswalk.

I'm sorry, Trooper Sullivan very well deserves this "award."

Sorry Bill, ain't buying it... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Sorry Bill, ain't buying it. From 30 years experience doing accident investigations; if someone is killed or injured, somebody is gonna sue. I've seen too many cases where the officer (being a nice guy) didn't cite someone who was partially at fault, gaving that person's vulture, sorry....lawyer, the leverage to hammer the other party. As a training officer, I tried to teach that you're not there to 'be a nice guy'. You're there as a neutral party. Let the lawyers haggle it out in court.

Seriously, Bill, do you thi... (Below threshold)
James H:

Seriously, Bill, do you think for a few minutes before you put up these "knucklehead of the day" posts? You've consistently put up these posts with minimal, if any consideration of wider issues. In this story, for example:

1) The "act of heroism" -- pushing the ladies out of the way of the car -- didn't occur until AFTER Moffett was already jaywalking. Therefore, the relationship between "heroism" and "jaywalking" is

2) When this is litigated, determining fault will be key to apportionment of damages. Was the driver negligent when he turned his car? Were the ladies negligent for crossing the street? Did Moffett encourage the ladies to cross the street? When a finder of fact, or an insurance adjuster, examines the incident, the police officer's on-the-scene assessments will be one of several pieces of evidence assessed. By giving out citations for jaywalking and for careless driving, the police officer has put that judgment on the record.

Yes, it's very noble that a bus driver decided to help two ladies across the street. But in this story, as an many others, there are issues beyond the natural impulse to scream, "Outrageous!"

Another problem with this s... (Below threshold)
Dignon:

Another problem with this stupid award....Trooper Ryan Sullivan is a SPOKESPERSON for the Colorado State Patrol...he DID NOT write the ticket! At least put in a half-hearted effort to get the facts before you pass judgement. How lame! You guys wonder why journalism is dying....

Another way to look at this... (Below threshold)
Dignon:

Another way to look at this is... You are driving down a dark snowy road at night. All of a sudden...pedestrians in the middle of the road where you were not expecting them. The officer comes..decides to be a "nice guy" and doesn't issue a jaywalking citation. Then the pedestrians sue YOU..and there is no legal documentation they were illegally in the road. HMMMMMMMM....

Just a sbad as here in KALI... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Just a sbad as here in KALIFORNIA where a good samaratent can get sued for something all thats to some stupid idiot judge who should get canned and their paycheck taken away

If anyone bothered to actua... (Below threshold)
Q:

If anyone bothered to actually read the article you will find that Ryan Sullivan did NOT give anyone a ticket. He is a spokesperson for the State.

Now for a real stretch, why not wait to read the actual accident report. Instead of relying on the victim's son guess of the events.

Gee, I wonder why they call them accidents instead of intentionals?

Whoever is responsible for ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Whoever is responsible for the citation needs to be identified - publicly - and reprimanded by his superiors and the public. It was a meanspirited and, in fact, quite careless exercise of the state trooper's authority. I will personally be investigating the incident, in order to identify the officer in the media and encourage public protest. Hopefully his job, or at least his position, will suffer; America's thugish police culture needs to be curbed and the public should be taking steps to ensure that.




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