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Old 07-15-2004, 07:55 PM   #1
BongMonster
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Default Racing didn't end at Four Corners - but did it lead to fatal crash?

It's a long read, but VERY interesting (and sad).

Racing trial: Mild-mannered boys, model-car toys
Racing didn't end at Four Corners - but did it lead to fatal crash?

By Barney Lerten
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 11:39 PM

July 14 - Assisted listening devices were hot items Wednesday in the courtroom of Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Tiktin, as numerous young men – most speaking quite softly – were coaxed, prodded and reminded to tell what they did, saw and heard on a tragically fateful night last summer, when two teen-age girls were killed as they fled a street-racing event east of Bend, a crash that badly injured another driver.

Use of not just transcripts and diagrams, but toy-like model cars to illustrate points of memory (and a State Police trooper’s crash-reconstruction physics) were a common thread through a second day of testimony in the trial of Randall Scott Clifford, 21, and David Allen Black, 20, charged with manslaughter, assault and reckless driving, among other charges, in the Aug. 9, 2003 death of Stephanie Beeksma, 15.

Black also is charged with felony hit and run for allegedly leaving the scene on Alfalfa Market Road where the black Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Danielle “Dani” O’Neil Gates, 16, with her friend Beeksma in the passenger’s seat, slid sideways on a curve and was struck broadside by a minivan driven by Katie Reznick, 19, of Sisters, who sustained serious injuries... FULL STORY HERE
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:37 PM   #2
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"But he also said the curve, posted as 45 mph, could be taken safely at 60 mph"

Nice to hear that from a state patrol officer.

Forgive me if I don't have a lot of simpathy for kids with a low common sense quotient.

-Mike
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
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Yeah great qoute from the trooper, moron.

I do have sympathy for everyone involved though, it's tragic (though stupid) accident.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Fennell talked about reaction times, stopping distances and what elements could affect it, such as alcohol (Gates’ blood test showed she had been drinking), using a cell phone (as she apparently was when or just before the crash occurred) and the like.
Talking on the phone while racing into a curve
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:44 AM   #5
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Why are you ripping on the cop? It's a fact that nearly all speed limits are set way below what they can be taken at by a reasonable driver in a decent handling vehicle. The cop saying that the corner can be taken at 15mph above the limit doesn't mean take it that fast, or that it's ok to speed, but rather that it can be done easily and perhaps the driver was going WAY too fast. Or something. I have company now and can't read the whole article though.
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Old 07-16-2004, 03:34 AM   #6
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I wasn't really trying to rip on my cop. Just thinking it's funny hear a cop say something like that, while every time I see a 45mph posted corner, I'm stuck behind someone doing 30mph.

And the testimony wasn't about the driver going way too fast.... The skid mark analysis pointed to about 60mph, which shouldn't have been utterly too fast for that corner.

Blah, anyway. Yeah, it's tragic. But I tend to believe that people who involve themselves in that sort of thing are bound to have an incident sooner or later, whether they're 16, 20, or 45.

Far more tragic are all the innocent victims who are killed every day by drunk drivers.

-Mike
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:25 AM   #7
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I am VERY opposed to street racing but I don't get this case. The 2 girls who died were voluntary participants in the race. One was driving! Pardon my ignorance, but how can the driver of the other car be guilty of manslaughter?

Oh well, it's still a shame, a tragedy, and just one more reason why we need to raise the driving age.
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Old 07-16-2004, 12:09 PM   #8
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Both parties are guilty, but they don't usually prosecute dead people. It's like two people holding up a bank - they share in the guilt because they're both actively participating in the crime.
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Old 07-16-2004, 01:21 PM   #9
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But its more like suicide than manslaughter... They new the risks before they started racing.
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Old 07-16-2004, 02:18 PM   #10
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Yes, but the other person isn't dead. They can't be charged with suicide. The point is that 2 people were endangering others, and somebody died. Both drivers would have been charged had they both lived with a 3rd party casualty.

The point is, don't street race, and pay attention to what you're doing out there.
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:16 PM   #11
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i love street racing
and i totally support everyone who does it



i would type more, but i am off to street race, and maybe drink and drive a little bit, but only if i can get a car full of friends.

later
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Old 07-16-2004, 06:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by grippgoat
...And the testimony wasn't about the driver going way too fast.... The skid mark analysis pointed to about 60mph, which shouldn't have been utterly too fast for that corner...
Terminal understeer...I would guess from trying to get out of the way of the oncoming van...and from what I remember being told by Eclipse/Talon owners they have issues with understeer...

Quote:
at one point using a model car with markers at each "tire," to draw on butcher paper and show how the rear wheels had tracked inside the front ones.
Into some nice snappy oversteer...did she also lift off in reflex?

Quote:
The trooper estimated Gates was going 60 mph when her car began to leave "yaw" skid marks, an indication it was skidding sideways on the curve.
With nowhere to go and no way to correct it at that point...

Quote:
Eventually, the car was turning clockwise, but the collision reversed that spin in violent fashion, throwing the girls from their seats.
Game over.



That's what I get from the testimony at least.
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:54 AM   #13
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News

FOLLOWUP....

DA rejects petition plea in street-racer case Dugan calls it too late to change outcome of David Black's conviction

By Barney Lerten
Bend.com
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2004 10:11 PM
Reference Code: AR-17114



Family members, including mother Julie Black (L) and father Bobby Black Jr. (2nd to L), joined manslaughter defendant David Black before last week's verdict from Judge Stephen Tiktin. (Photo by: Barney Lerten)

***********




August 1 - Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan rejected the notion Sunday that a citizen petition effort by the family of convicted street-racing manslaughter defendant David Black, asking the the county prosecutor reconsider the matter, might affect the judge’s Aug. 30 sentencing of the 20-year-old Bend man.

“It’s pretty late,” Dugan said after The Bulletin reported Sunday that Black’s family is circulating petitions in Bend and Redmond, asking him “to reconsider the matter … in that as a first-time offender, he not be charged with manslaughter under Measure 11, and be put in prison with hard-core criminals with no chance of a future.”

Last week, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Tiktin convicted Black of second-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 9, 2003 death of Stephanie Beeksma, 15 (www.bend.com/AR-17019). She was riding in a car driven by fellow Bend High student Danielle Gates, 16. Both girls died when their car slid on a curve and was struck broadside by a minivan on Alfalfa Market Road as they and dozens of other teens fled an illegal street race in Crook County.

The manslaughter charge is a Measure 11 crime, which means it carries a mandatory prison sentence of 75 months. Black also was convicted on eight other charges that involved the minivan driver, Katie Reznick, 19, of Sisters, and three passengers in Black’s car. He had not allowed Gates to pass his car twice, then let her do so on the ride back toward Bend.

Randall Clifford, 21, was driving ahead of Gates’ car at the time of the crash and saw it in his rear-view mirror. After a four-day trial before Tiktin (the pair waived their right to a jury trial), but before sentencing, Clifford agreed to plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and fourth-degree assault. That means Tiktin has an option of not sentencing Clifford to any prison time.

After the verdict against Black, several family members criticized the decision as unfair and unjust, and said the young man was having his life ruined as a scapegoat for the tragedy.

But Dugan said It hasn’t been done, and I can’t see a likelihood that it can be done.Sunday, “Our office charged the crime as we believed the facts would fit, what the law allows – death by reckless conduct.”

“The discretion that our office has is in entering into pre-trial plea negotiations,” the DA said. “We did that. Mr. Black rejected it. Mr. Black has not accepted responsibility.” (Black did not testify at his trial, but told the newspaper that he refused to negotiate with prosecutors because, “It’s not my fault they crashed. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t near them.”)

“The district attorney has a great deal of discretion and authority, when it comes to charging,” Dugan said. As for the late change of course the Black family is seeking, he said, “It hasn’t been done, and I can’t see a likelihood that it can be done.”

Black’s father, Bobby Black Jr., was quoted by the paper as saying, “Measure 11 was designed for people who were constantly in trouble, and each time, they got probation and a slap on the wrist. What are you going to throw him in there (prison) for?”

But Dugan said that’s not the case, that Measure 11 was approved by voters to “offer truth in sentencing, and hold people responsible and accountable, who commit the most violent crimes in Oregon.”

Black’s family members also criticized Beeksma’s mother, Julie Rehanek, for allowing their daughter to go out with Gates, who already had been known among friends for speeding and reckless driving.

But Dugan said, “I daresay, the mother of Miss Beeksma would rather see her daughter in jail for seven years than dead.”

“The judge made the decision that the facts support it (the charges),” Dugan said. “That's what judges do. I suppose what they (the Black family) want me to do is what I can do, but it’s not going to happen.”
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Old 08-02-2004, 04:58 PM   #14
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hey bongmonster, do you live in bend????....
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Old 08-02-2004, 05:40 PM   #15
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subaru__styles - nope. live in York, PA

I came accross this story on google news and ended up posting it here.
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