Despite efforts for several decades to reduce the incidence of drunk drivers, it is estimated there are nearly 11,000 deaths related to drunk driving each year in the United States. This total is approximately 31% of all deaths caused by traffic-related accidents in the United States. This means that every day almost 30 drivers die in a motor vehicle accident involving an alcohol or drug impaired driver. Stricter laws and catchy slogans have reduced but not eliminated the estimated 50 million instances of driving under the influence each year. Continue reading
Matt Bush has been arrested for running over a motorcyclist. This is not the first time that Bush has been in trouble.
Matt Bush is the former overall No.1 pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft. Bush was drafted by his hometown team, the San Diego Padres.
However, only two weeks after accepting a bonus offer of $3.15 million from the San Diego Padres, Bush was involved in several altercations that related to the use of alcohol. At this point the San Diego Padres considered the possibility of voiding his contract, but they decided to stick with him.
Injuries and alcohol
Bush spent five years with his hometown San Diego Padres. During that time, the Padres converted him from a shortstop to a pitcher, but Bush hurt his arm and had to have what is known as Tommy John surgery. Added to that, Bush fell back into problems related to alcohol. Finally, in 2009, after another incident related to alcohol, the San Diego Padres traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays put Matt Bush on their 40-man roster. However, Bush got drunk and missed a 7 o’clock workout. The Toronto Blue Jays released him on April 1, 2009.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed Matt Bush later in 2009. Even though he was injured for most of 2010, the Rays saw enough to place him on their 40-man roster before the 2011 season. It seemed like a sure thing that sometime in 2012, Bush would be called up from pitching in Triple-A and finally make his major league debut.
Thursday night incident
Then, Thursday night happened. Bush allegedly stole his spring training roommate Brandon Guyer’s 2011 Dodge SUV. He went to a strip club and got drunk. He then got up on the stage at the club before bouncers got him out of the club.
As Bush got back on the road in Guyer’s SUV, he hit a 72-year-old motorcyclist named Tony Tufano who was riding home. To make matters worse, Bush did not stop to check on the man’s injuries and ran over Tufano’s head as he sped away attempting a hit and run. Thankfully, Tony Tufano was wearing a helmet. Bush drove away with a blood alcohol level of .18, which is more than twice the legal level that is allowed in Florida.
Now, Bush is in the Charlotte County jail where he has been charged with multiple DUI violations and leaving the scene of the accident. If Tony Tufano dies from his injuries, Bush will probably spend at least two years in jail. That is the minimum penalty in Florida when a hit-and-run DUI results in a death. If Tony Tufano lives, the penalty will be lessened. This is especially true because Bush pleaded down his previous crimes to misdemeanors.
Tufano in medically-induced coma
On Monday, Tony Tufano was placed in a medically-induced coma and is hooked up to a respirator and feeding tube. His condition is listed as critical, but his family is optimistic about his recovery.
The family of Tufano is planning on bringing a civil lawsuit against Bush. They have also named Guyer in the lawsuit.
The baseball future of Matt Bush seems certain to be over as he may be considered “persona non grata.” However, when you can throw a baseball 97, 98 or 99 mph, you never know for sure.
Devin Byrd, a twelve year-old resident of Richardson, Texas, was riding in a go-kart on the sidewalk at Heights Park last month when a woman driving an SUV jumped the curb and struck the boy.
Elaine Burbridge, the 62 year-old driver of the SUV, left the scene without stopping to render aid. Eyewitnesses saw the SUV crash into the go-kart, make a U-turn and leave the area. Police later found a vehicle matching the witnesses descriptions in a neighborhood near the park.
Burbridge claims she did not remember an accident, but she has contacted an attorney. She turned herself in several days later and was released on $5,000 bond.
Police stated that Burbridge left the area without getting out of her car to see if the boy she hit was okay or needed medical attention. She is charged with failure to stop and render aid. Burbridge’s attorney does not refute the fact that she was involved in the collision, but he claims she has an undiagnosed seizure disorder which caused her to temporarily black out and crash into the boy.
“I think that’s offensive to anybody that has common sense,” said Courtney Hopping, a spokesperson for the family. Hopping continued, “You should be able to play in the park without being rundown and left for dead.”
The boy’s family is disappointed about the charges assessed against Elaine Burbridge. She has been charged with failing to stop and render aid, which is a third-degree felony. This charge also carries a ten year prison term and $10,000 fine. They believe she should be charged with a harsher second-degree aggravated assault felony which could extend her prison term to twenty years.
Devin Byrd remains in the Children’s Medical Center in serious condition and is not able to breathe on his own. His family members say he has good days and are hopeful that he will begin to steadily improve.
Richardson police say they will not file any additional charges before they conclude their investigation. The driver’s family said that they noticed Burbridge “blanking out” on several occasions within the last three months. A neurologist has instructed her not to drive until her condition is clarified.
Rebecca Herrell, a nearby neighbor is irritated with Burbridge’s defense. She was driving by the park and saw the accident occur. “It was very obvious that she stepped on the gas and was trying to get out of there,” Herrell said.
Whether or not Burbridge’s neurological condition exists will be determined by the courts. Byrd’s family is focused on his recovery but will soon face the bills that accompany serious accidents, not to mention the months of recovery and recuperation for young Devin.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another driver, contact a personal injury lawyer. Depending on the state and your state’s laws, you may be able to receive compensation for your car accident injuries by filing a personal injury claim