07-19-2004, 06:44 PM #1
Another contender for this years Darwin Awards
Jailed:Father who let his 11 year old son drive on the M6.
A father who allowed his 11 year old son to drive them home while he dozed in the passenegr seat has been jailed for six motnhs.
The boy lost control of the car at a junction and careered into another vehicle, leaving an elderly woamn with five broken ribs and a fractured sternum.
A judge condemned the "unbelieveable" actions of former Italian Air Force Sargeant Giovanni Fronte, 53.
Mr Recorder Eccles said at Preston Crown Court; "to allow an 11 year old to have control of a vehicle is absolutley absurd. The idea of a child this age being behind the wheel of a cra beggars belief and is terrifying that you even considered it".
The court heard that Fronte and his son had been for a meal on Boxing Day, (the day after Christmas Day), and were driving back home. Fronte claimed that during the journey he began to feel ill and swapped places with the youngster.
As the boy cruised along the M6, which is one of Britains busiest motorways, Fronte dozed off. When he woke he thought they had passed the junction they needed and shouted at his son, who swerved towards the exit. The car skidded on the hard shoulder then veered back onto the motorway, collided with another car and then smashed into the central reservation.
Fronte switched places with his son after the accident and before police arrived, but later admitted who was the driver. Both were injured in the accident, as well as the occupants of the other vehicle.
His barrister said Fronte found it "difficult to stick to the rules" and behave in a way that was "socially acceptable" and that his son had drived the family car on private land a number of times.
The Judge added, "that an accident occured is of no surprise. I do not believe anybody could sensibly consider what you have done. for an offence this serious, custody is the only option".
(From the Mail on Sunday 18th July 2004)United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.
07-23-2004, 05:30 PM #2
Another Darwin that isn't too funny. My only comment - I guarantee you my friends and I knew better than pull something like this when we were 15.
Teen Badly Burned in Fire Stunt
(Greenwood) -- A teenager is in a drug-induced coma. Thomas Jefferson, 15, is clinging to life on a ventilator following a harrowing ordeal.
Authorities say it happened in front of a home in the 4300 block of Mahogany Drive in Greenwood on July 5th.
"[A friend] goes and gets the gasoline, the victim takes his shirt off, he pours the gasoline on the shirt, the victim puts his shirt back on and his other friend lights him on fire,” explained Eric Brown, White River Township Fire Marshal
Authorities say that happened after Jefferson and two friends ran out of fireworks and decided to try to light each other's clothes on fire. Jefferson was engulfed in flames from his head to his waist.
"I would never have imagined something like this to happen. I mean things go on in different neighborhoods, but not that. They're old enough to know better,” said neighbor Michelle Cordray.
Added fellow neighbor Scott Moore "At 10:30 they were throwing firecrackers at each other beside my house and I told them they need to get home and then ten minutes later I see an ambulance show up.”
In short, authorities call it a stunt gone terribly wrong -- a horrible lesson about the dangers of fire.
"It was a weapon. It may not have been intentional, but it doesn't make it right. It still occurred,” said brown.
Brown says that the other teens -- Austin Hart and Tyler Lockwood -- face charges of felony arson, aggravated assault and criminal wrecklessness. They have a preliminary hearing the second week in august in Johnson County.
Meantime, Jefferson, who was severely burned, is expected to remain in a drug-induced coma for the next couple of weeks in riley hospital.
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