Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004 10:42 AM | Contributed by Jeff
A grand jury has indicted a Piegon Forge Rocking Raceway manager for second degree murder and reckless homicide after an accident in March. A woman fell to her death from a Zamperla Hawk when the harness let go.
Read more from WBIR/Knoxville.
This is stunning to me.
If that actually is the case, hypothetically, since there was a previously reported incident (look towards the end of the article) with the harness system. Perhaps the manager never had maintenance done in regards to that problem which sounds quite similar to what happened in March to the victim.
Again, hypothetically, if that was the case, I could see a grand jury filing those charges.
It only looks at whether there is a possibility that the person might have committed the act in question. A grand jury acts only in placing charges, the indictment does not imply guilt any more than a bench issued warrant.
For the second-degree charge to stick, I would *guess* that the NEEDED maintenance was intentionally blown off....what would be called "with wanton disregard for human life or safety".....that's going to require a considerable burden of proof.
I'll go with the likeliest of possibilities, that the case will end in a plea bargain, with a lesser charge being agreed to by the prosecution and the defense....
Of course, murcer laws vary from state to state. In Georgia you can be charged with murder for not trying to prevent someone from murdering someone else.
The incident that claimed Alexander's life wasn't the first time "The Hawk" was alleged to have malfunctioned. In July 2003 an Indiana man was aboard the ride when his safety device loosened, according to a report filed by Pigeon Forge police.
The man wasn't injured, but he wanted to make a report because "he was concerned that it may be a safety risk in the future since the ride swings people upside down so far above the ground," the report said.
If I had been on the Grand Jury indicting for this offense, I *now* can see where I could be convinced to file the 2nd-degree charge though...
As noted, the JURISDICTION (and the DAs office) is critical to deciding WHAT would be presented to the Grand Jury for indictment...this guy is in SERIOUS trouble if he can't show where he ordered repairs after the prior incident...
....all that being said, I still expect him to plead guilty to manslaughter and get 7-10 years...
bill, watches WAYYYY too much Law and Order...;)
All I can guess is that the AG asked for maintenance records following the earlier accident to see if any work was done in regards to the prior complaint and they could not provide any.*** This post was edited by redman822 10/1/2004 12:09:41 PM ***
Thrill seeking has its risk. And the family should only get what the insurance company offers. There is no reason why a man's life should be ruined over something that was not intentional. *** This post was edited by freddy vega 10/16/2004 9:42:53 PM ***
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