Leaving an accident scene is just cowardly

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We’re not sure if it’s a surge in stupidity or an outbreak in spinelessness, but the recent spate of serious hit-and-run motor vehicle accident stories in the Sun Journal— three in a week — merits mention.

A South Berwick man was arrested Friday and charged with the Jan. 30 hit-and-run death in Orono of Jordyn Bakley, a 20-year-old college student from Camden.

Garrett Cheney, 22, was charged Friday with manslaughter, aggravated criminal operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police allege that Cheney was drunk and driving on the wrong side of the street when he struck Bakley at about 3 a.m. Her body was found by a passing newspaper deliveryman at 5:30 a.m.

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After allegedly hitting Bakley, Cheney headed south on Interstate 95, but his pickup went off the highway and crashed about half an hour after the accident.

Police say Bakley was killed instantly when she was struck by the truck. Still, Cheney couldn’t have known that, and leaving a person by the side of the road is just cold. Gutless and cold.

A Massachusetts man, convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, was back in court last week appealing his 90-day prison sentence. He should be relieved it wasn’t longer.

Domingos Medeiros was hauling lumber from Kingfield to Massachusetts on Jan. 16, 2008, when some 17-foot beams fell from the trailer he was towing and struck two cars on Route 27 .

One beam smashed the windshield of a car driven by Stephen McKenney of New Portland, killing him.

Medeiros says he didn’t discover the missing wood until he stopped in Farmington. When he did, he returned to retrieve the beams, but was stopped at a police roadblock near the accident.

Instead of informing officers he might have caused the accident, Medeiros turned tail and headed for home.

Now his attorney says the roadblock was not an accident scene, so he cannot be convicted for leaving, certainly a creative approach to the problem.

We’re betting the court will see through this ruse.

Finally, an East Jay man was arrested Friday after police say he left an accident at Route 133 and East Jay Road.

Police say Andrew Deering pulled into the path of an oncoming car which then collided with his truck. The driver of the car sustained neck and back pain, but was not transported to the hospital.

Deering, meanwhile, fled the scene, but the damaged truck was spotting and reported to police, who arrested him the next day.

Stopping at the scene of an accident should be the automatic response. This is the sort of decision you make early in life, perhaps while you are learning to drive or even taking a driver’s ed course.

If a person drives long enough, he or she is likely to be involved in an accident at some point.

Courageous people stop and take responsibility for their actions. Cowards who run deserve not only our reproach, but criminal charges.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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