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Elderly driver avoids jail for killing 2 cyclists

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Associated Press


An 80-year-old man was spared jail time and placed on five years probation for driving into a group of motorcyclists almost two years ago, killing two of them.

Clarence Beachy, of Confluence, pleaded no contest earlier this year to homicide by vehicle in the Oct. 21, 2001, crash that killed Joseph W. Ehland III, 44, of McDonald, and Jonathan G. Kranik, 27, of Perryopolis.

"I'm truly sorry that these two men had to die," Beachy told the men's families in court.

Prosecutors said he was driving too fast and not paying attention when he clipped a car and then drove into a group of 13 people on motorcycles on Route 711 in Connellsville. Beachy, who was 78 at the time, hit Ehland, while Kranik swerved to avoid the accident and hit a tree, authorities said.

As part of his plea, Beachy will lose his license for a year and must be retested before getting it back.
 

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duessel said:
As part of his plea, Beachy will lose his license for a year and must be retested before getting it back.
Gee, what are the odds of that? 1 in 1? A monkey could get a driving license in this country (US); no offense monkey.
 

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Re: Re: Elderly driver avoids jail for killing 2 cyclists

kanwisch said:
A monkey could get a driving license in this country (US); no offense monkey.
no offense taken

besides, i never said i had a license:twofinger
 

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SimonWRC said:
thats bulls*** that man should not be allowed to drive NEVER!
I,OTOH, think he should be banned from driving


<whoosh!>Grammar Nazi to the rescue! :twofinger
 

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I'm w/everyone else. Take his liscense away forever.
Whats the point of throwing him in jail anyway? It's not like thats going to punish him. What do old people do anyway? Sit around all day and watch their stories. Plus he'd finally have people to talk to. That would be like a resort for that guy. And he's 80, no one is going to want to make him their sweet heart.
 

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Tippmann said:
Whats the point of throwing him in jail anyway? It's not like thats going to punish him.And he's 80, no one is going to want to make him their sweet heart.
lol thats funny...

but yeah i think old people should be tested every couple of months...

out here in Az once you get a license it doesnt expire until you hit 65 yrs old, even if you get it at the age of 18... what kinda sh*t is that...
 

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You have to feel for the prosecutor. Imagine in court this old pr*(_s lawyer would show a frail old man scared by some "outlaw bikers" or some such rubbish. The jury would look for ways to get grandpa off.

Maybe the families can lodge a civil action ?

:)
 

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the "west" as in North America should take more after europe where in many countries you have to go through rigorous driving tests reflex tests and even yearly medical examinations to prove fitness to drive. Here in the west every a** hole sees driving as one of their freedoms or rights !!!!!BULLS**T!!!!! it's a god damn privelege that some do not deserve !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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yeah i agree...where i live there is a bunch of people who either drive substandard maintaiend vehicles i.e. no tailligts...no brake tag....or they are unqulified themselve.....too fucking old....too immature.....horrible drivers...etc..
i admit when i was 16 i was too young to drive.....its amazing how 2 years can make a difference in someones life. now dont get me wrong there are matue 16 yr olds....but all the people i know should not even be drving a vehicle..they always drive messed up out of their minds....also old people drive too slow which congest traffic...and if they cant drive at speeds that are easonable and prudent then they should be off the road....take the autobahn higher speeds less accidents. and i agree at least every 2 or three years verydriver should be reexamined by goverment officials and not locals who dotn care.....some people do not deserve to drive....it really upsets me because it has hit home on more than 1 occasion
 

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I agree with most previous statements, but I think there may be another point left out. As cyclist we all understand that take a risk every time we get on a bike. We accept this risk and ride on. To his defense had those riders not accepted this higher risk and been on the road he would have probably hit other cars. That being said, there would probably have been no fatalities. I am not saying he's innocent or anything, I just think it was bad coincidence for him to have an accident with bikes involved. The likelyhood of major injury resulting from a minor mishap was assesed and accepted by the bikers before they even picked up the kick stand.

--- just something to consider, alternate perspective.
 

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I understand your perspective but don't agree with it. the bikers know that there is a risk involved, everyone does. But the fact remains that the reason those 2 are dead is pecause of neglegence on the part of the driver, the government authority, and the licincing body. If those 2 would have died cause the old mans tire blew out accidentally and he lost control it would be a different story, because then there is no one to blame, and the assesed risk factor of riding holds. To say that there is a risk involved is a given but to say that there is risk of old a**hole raming into you because they are not fit to drive is wrong. Driving is like russian roulette, if you know how to drive then it's like if you were to spin the thing that holds the bullets ( I forget what it;s called) and pull the trigger while pointing into empty air, if you can't drive the you are spinning it and pointing it at any one aroud you and pulling the trigger. what if that trigger is pointed at your mother , daughter , wife , or yourself how does make you feel and the power/stupidity that a**hole holds in his hands!!
 

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your both right but.....

nothing is going to change..... This guy may or may not get his license back but there are hundreds of thousands of elderly drivers out there and more on the way... The laws will not change since this is also the majority of the voters out there.

The laws in europe have been that way for a long time and any major change would be defeated for the same reason as here in the colonies, the people it would effect have the majority of the vote and would not want to change the status quo and/or make it more difficult for them to keep there driving privilege.

As for us (those horrible bikers), I suprised that the group of riders wasn't used by the defense as the cause for the accident. After all, we are all stunting squids out there according to the liberal media...

We all risk our lives everytime we start the bike, car, or whatever...
If they're 18 or 88, they are Millions of people out there that don't respect the privilege and/or consequences of driving. They're behind the wheel of a lethal weapon and all there worried about is getting where they're going.

We accept these risks when we ride and have no control over if we'll get home....
 

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This is what we need to do.

We ought to make elderly people get tested every year or two, but think about it - what is the chance of that happening? It's not going to. Unless there was some ungodly high amount of accidents involving elderly people vs. motorcyclists, it's not going to happen. The only possible thing we can do right now is keep paying attention like we are. It's awfully hard to see what's behind us all the time. Especially some old, decreped f*ck who has no regard for others' safety. You know what? I retract my statement and offer this suggestion. Let's get rid of power steering all together that way they CAN'T drive. My grandma can barely lift her arm to wipe her *ss, let alone turn a steering wheel. Friggin' old people.......
 

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Very Funny slipon, Sounds like a good idea to me. Anyway this is one of those things that is hit close home too many times for me also. Bottom line....it's bullsh*t and something needs to be done about it. There are too many unqualified drivers out there. I guess some politicians kid has to be involved before it will change anything.
 
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