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Possible Manslaughter Charges for La Habra PD OFficer

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  • Possible Manslaughter Charges for La Habra PD OFficer

    Orange County district attorney weighs manslaughter charges against cop who sped through intersection, killing 2
    September 23, 2009 | 5:25 pm

    The California Highway Patrol has recommended that prosecutors consider filing manslaughter charges against a La Habra police officer who was responding to an emergency when she sped through a red light and broadsided a car, killing a husband and wife, authorities said Wednesday.

    The case was presented to the Orange County district attorney’s office Wednesday by the California Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation team, which recommended filing the charges against La Habra Police Officer Nancy Garcia, according to a police statement.

    The CHP took on the investigation at the request of La Habra Police Department. Garcia remains assigned to non-patrol duties.

    The fatal crash occurred shortly before 5 p.m. April 5, when Garcia was traveling north on Euclid Street at La Habra Boulevard. Garcia, authorities said at the time, was responding with emergency lights and siren to assist another officer who was in pursuit of a parolee.

    Garcia pulled into the intersection against a red light and struck a Chrysler PT Cruiser. Susanne Antuna, 55, died at the scene. Charles Antuna, 54, died the next day at UCI Medical Center.

    The crash became controversial when the daughter of the two victims, Andrea Antuna, disputed reports that the patrol car’s lights and siren were on when it entered the intersection.

    CHP investigators said the patrol car entered the intersection with an estimated speed of 62 mph. Officials declined to say whether the investigation concluded whether the emergency lights and siren were on.

    --Ruben Vives
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

  • #2
    By the looks of it, there are cameras in place at that particular intersection. If CHP investigators are recommending manslaughter chargers, I can only assume their findings are that the officer did not have her lights and siren on.

    Just remember...there's no such thing as a Code 2. It's either all or nothing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not enough info here for me to form an opinion on the speed or the lights being on......

      Hope everything works out ok for the officer....

      Comment


      • #4
        Even if she had her lights/siren on, blowing through a red light at 60 mph isnt covered. You still have to show 'due regard'
        The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

        "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

        "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
          Even if she had her lights/siren on, blowing through a red light at 60 mph isnt covered. You still have to show 'due regard'
          CVC 21806. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency
          vehicle which is sounding a siren and which has at least one lighted
          lamp exhibiting red light that is visible, under normal atmospheric
          conditions, from a distance of 1,000 feet to the front of the
          vehicle, the surrounding traffic shall, except as otherwise directed
          by a traffic officer, do the following:
          (a) (1) Except as required under paragraph (2), the driver of
          every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall
          immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway,
          clear of any intersection, and thereupon shall stop and remain
          stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
          (2) A person driving a vehicle in an exclusive or preferential use
          lane shall exit that lane immediately upon determining that the exit
          can be accomplished with reasonable safety.
          (b) The operator of every street car shall immediately stop the
          street car, clear of any intersection, and remain stopped until the
          authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
          (c) All pedestrians upon the highway shall proceed to the nearest
          curb or place of safety and remain there until the authorized
          emergency vehicle has passed.

          CVC 21807. The provisions of Section 21806 shall not operate to relieve
          the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive
          with due regard for the safety of all persons and property.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by McGruff View Post
            By the looks of it, there are cameras in place at that particular intersection. If CHP investigators are recommending manslaughter chargers, I can only assume their findings are that the officer did not have her lights and siren on.

            Just remember...there's no such thing as a Code 2. It's either all or nothing.
            Code 2, at least up here, means respond without delay, but obey all traffic laws.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ateamer View Post
              Code 2, at least up here, means respond without delay, but obey all traffic laws.
              What it means officially and what it means in practice may differ.
              Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
              Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Yup, she's done. Even worse for her is that she most likely violated policy, so now the dept can wash its hands of her defense. With this economy, it will save the city a lot of money.
                God made perfect cops.......The rest he put in cars.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bully View Post
                  Yup, she's done. Even worse for her is that she most likely violated policy, so now the dept can wash its hands of her defense. With this economy, it will save the city a lot of money.
                  They still have to defend the case if you violate policy. They are still liable for any judgment, except for punitive damages.
                  Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                  Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's a bi+ch, and it's a bi+ch with a mustache and hairy armpits across from you at the blackjack table when youre rolling code to back up a brother on an officer needs assistance call, and you roll the dice between a fresh or stale yellow light, or a red light combined with proximity of being 10-97, time of day, traffic conditions, . Lots of variables when making those split second decisions... and all it takes is a losing hand to call it a day.
                    Timelines:

                    CBPO
                    App: 2/12/09
                    Geo: Revised; CA Long Beach, San Bernardino, L.A.
                    Written: 2/20/09
                    NOR: 3/2/09 (81 no vet pref.)
                    TO: ? (reached my 37th bday 9/09)

                    IEA
                    App: 5/5/09
                    Geo: San Diego
                    Written: 6/5/09 (75.8 no vet pref.)
                    NOR: 7/20/09
                    Faxed Documents: 7/7/09
                    TO: 10/6/09
                    Mailed Documents: 10/16/09
                    Oral Interview: 12/02/09 Passed

                    BPA
                    Geo: SW Border-El Centro/San Diego Area
                    App: 8/17/10
                    Written: 10/6 Passed (73 w/ no vet pref.)
                    TO: 11/10/10 (pre emp forms due 11/22)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will say that it is an unfortunate set of circumstances that have led to the recommendation by the CHP M.A.I.T. The following sections are not taken lightly when investigations are involving Emergency Vehicle Operations.

                      There is adequate case law on the books that address this very topic and in all of them judges have evaluated and articulated the necessity of an operator to drive with "due regard" when under emergency conditions.

                      Exemption of Authorized Emergency Vehicles

                      21055. The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle is exempt from Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 21350), Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 21650), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 21800), Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 21950), Chapter 6 (commencing with 22100), Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 22348), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 22450), Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 22500), and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22650) of this division, and Article 3 (commencing with Section 38305) and Article 4 (commencing with Section 38312) of Chapter 5 of Division 16.5, under all of the following conditions:

                      (a) If the vehicle is being driven in response to an emergency call or while engaged in rescue operations or is being used in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or is responding to, but not returning from, a fire alarm, except that fire department vehicles are exempt whether directly responding to an emergency call or operated from one place to another as rendered desirable or necessary by reason of an emergency call and operated to the scene of the emergency or operated from one fire station to another or to some other location by reason of the emergency call.

                      (b) If the driver of the vehicle sounds a siren as may be reasonably necessary and the vehicle displays a lighted red lamp visible from the front as a warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

                      A siren shall not be sounded by an authorized emergency vehicle except when required under this section.

                      Amended Ch. 1017, Stats. 1977. Effective September 23, 1977 by terms of an urgency clause.


                      Effect of Exemption

                      21056. Section 21055 does not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway, nor protect him from the consequences of an arbitrary exercise of the privileges granted in that section.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Running a red light at 62mph is unexcusable! No matter what is going on at the other end of the call blowing red lights is a no no! I feel bad for the officer but all of us should know better!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sad situation for sure. Doesn't sound good for her though. I've never forgotten what someone told me in the academy many years ago..."It doesn't matter how fast you respond if you don't actually get there". That has always stuck with me. She never made it to help her fellow officer...now she is looking at possible serious charges.
                          Walking the line...all give some...some give all!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hooknbook View Post
                            Sad situation for sure. Doesn't sound good for her though. I've never forgotten what someone told me in the academy many years ago..."It doesn't matter how fast you respond if you don't actually get there". That has always stuck with me. She never made it to help her fellow officer...now she is looking at possible serious charges.
                            You seem to have left out the worst part:

                            She killed two people.
                            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If I remember the incident correctly, It was actually code 4 at the time she crashed, The mini pursuit was over and the suspect ran in his house and I believe other officers were already on scene. Sad case for all involved..
                              Retired LASD

                              Comment

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