May 24, 2012

"City truck runs over sunbather at Madison park."

A 28-year-old woman was lying on the grass. The truck was delivering bark.
A crash reconstruction team from the Wisconsin State Patrol worked at the scene to try to determine what the driver of the city Parks truck may or may not have been able to see as she came over a small hill and struck the sunbather....

Those who sunbathe at the park said they are shocked by the incident.

"A lot of times I come laying out here. I'm pretty relaxed, kind of in nap mode, so a public place where you can lay down -- it's kind of scary to think about," said [one woman].
UPDATE: The sunbather died from complications from the injuries.

68 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

"A lot of times I come laying out here. I'm pretty relaxed, kind of in nap mode, so a public place where you can lay down -- it's kind of scary to think about," said [one woman].

Bring an egg basket!

bagoh20 said...

"A crash reconstruction team from the Wisconsin State Patrol worked at the scene to try to determine what the driver of the city Parks truck may or may not have been able to see..."

He probably had a good view of Angry Birds?

TosaGuy said...

We in the Army use ground guides when driving vehicles off a road and where people congregate. Drivers can't see immediately around their vehicles.

All fault is with the driver and City of Madison.

Lem said...

Aha.. that woman signed the recall petition.. and and and Walker sent someone to take care of her.

Scott said...

It was an unfortunate act, not negligence or recklessness. Remember: The Government Is Never Wrong.

Mitchell said...

She'll be okay because she was using SPF 50 sunscreen.

Petunia said...

A few years ago I gave up on hoping that people would figure out the difference between "lay" and "lie". It's hopeless. But it still annoys me.

How boring that Jordan Johnson was "literally" standing on the porch, though. I think figurative standing would be something to see.

Lem may be on to something. Parts of that park are visible from the Capitol (maybe not so much with the leaves out now). I bet the eeeeeevil Governor was on top of the Rotunda with binoculars, scanning the city while cackling in an evil manner, saw the recaller lying there, and ordered up a hit squad.

Or the Koch Brothers are behind it, using an ALEC plan.

Glad the young lady is okay.

TWM said...

Do all the young men in Madison talk like stoners? (Reference the video)

TWM said...

"All fault is with the driver and City of Madison."

I agree about the fault being with the city, but as to the driver I'll wait to see what rules/procedures/regulations are in place and whether he was following or violating them before I think negligence versus just bad luck accident.

BarrySanders20 said...

Pick a meme:

For the recall supporter: More proof of Walker's War on Women

For the Saudi religious police (a two-fer): More proof that women drivers should be banned or More proof that the shameless skin-revealers will be smited and that burkas prevent injuries.

For the anti-union dude: More proof that government union workers are inept

For the union dude: More proof that government union workers are so stressed about Walker's changes that they are running over innocent people

For the sympathetic but unethical doctor: Need a medical note for an excuse?

A practical solution: make these public sleeper types put up a flag like the divers use or that kids used to have on their bikes so you could see them coming from around the corner.

Ken said...

the Wisconsin State Patrol worked at the scene to try to determine what the driver of the city Parks truck may or may not have been able to see as she came over a small hill

Is she going to be treated the same as a regular citizen who ran over a sun bather? If not, why not? Are there two different rules for running people over: one for regular people and another for government employees?

Lem said...

Investigators will probably be looking at her phone records for texting.

TWM said...

"Is she going to be treated the same as a regular citizen who ran over a sun bather? If not, why not? Are there two different rules for running people over: one for regular people and another for government employees?"

There may be specific work safety rules that the driver violated which might put his job in jeopardy in addition to regular traffic accident issues.

edutcher said...

What bag said. When the article said the driver was female, the first thing I thought was phone (yeah, yeah...).

But I also have to ask what the sunbather was on; you should be able to hear a truck, especially one as big as that one (if the pic in the article is accurate) coming or backing up.

bagoh20 said...

"When the article said the driver was female, the first thing I thought was phone (yeah, yeah...)."

I know we guys do it too, but I swear virtually every female I see driving is looking at her phone. Women are better multitaskers, but you still need to look at the road to drive, ladies. Besides, I'm trying to get your attention with my steady, reliable, focused, manly driving.

campy said...

The driver's female? She's in for a wrist slap at most.

traditionalguy said...

The War on Women is unabated. The GOP Governor is certainly responsible. Just because he hired a woman driver as cover does not remove his Guilt!

Hmmm.That one needs some more work. I'll try again later. Where is Garage when I need him?

ricpic said...

The truck was delivering bark.

What are they doing, building a giant new agey chuppah in the park for all those secular Madison Jews to get married under in a combined God/Gaia ceremony?

Steve Koch said...

Unless there was a mechanical problem with the truck, the driver screwed up big time. Either way, the victim is going to get a truck load of cash from the city of Madison.

Shanna said...

but as to the driver I'll wait to see what rules/procedures/regulations are in place and whether he was following or violating them

How bout don't run over people?

Seriously, if you are driving off the road (especially in a place where apparently people are known to sunbathe) you should be extremely cautious because people won't be expecting you.

Lem said...

I like my toast pressed.

Scott said...

"There may be specific work safety rules that the driver violated..."

Such as, "When driving a motor vehicle, make sure you look out the windshield."

and

"It is unsafe to drive vehicles over people."

"...which might put his job in jeopardy in addition to regular traffic accident issues."

Of course, the prospect of killing someone is secondary to assuring that the employee stays employed.

After all, just because you drive a truck over someone doesn't necessarily mean that they're reckless or negligent. That damn sunbather could have had it coming to them.

Pogo said...

Given these facts:
1. It's sunny and early summer.

2. People are playing and sunning in the park. Some are asleep. Some are tiny children.

3. Trucks are big and fast, they weigh a lot. They can easily kill people.

4. You can't see over a small hill as you approach and assure the upcoming terrain is completely clear before proceeding.

You:
(a) Stop until the view is clear and certain to be free of humans and dogs and unexpected structures/obstructions.

(b) Keep going, hope for the best.

You are a normal human:
ANSWER: (a)

You are a government employee:
ANSWER: (b)

"now we see the violence inherent in the system!

TWM said...

"Of course, the prospect of killing someone is secondary to assuring that the employee stays employed."

Dude, what put a bug up your ass? All I meant was even if this is determined to be just an accident by the police, that the driver could still be in trouble for violating some regulations at work, like having a spotter when working around people enjoying the park.

Accidents do not always result from negligence. They're called accidents for a reason.

Does that mean the city might not be liable in some way? No. Nor does it mean the driver might not be liable as well.

But accidents do not as a rule result in criminal charges, and because everyone has them - union or non-union, government or private sector workers - are usually forgiven if not forgotten.

Sheesh, chill out.

Pogo said...

Like luck, the avoidance of accidents favors the prepared.

This wasn't criminal, just criminally stupid.

TWM said...

"Like luck, the avoidance of accidents favors the prepared.

This wasn't criminal, just criminally stupid."

Agreed. Surely this is not the first time trucks have been used in the park. And it was multiple trucks from what I read, so I would hope a site supervisor would have plans for spotting the trucks as they moved.

There's liability here for sure even if they police rule it as an accident.

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

If the sunbather is more attractive than the driver then I would suspect malice.

I thought commercial vehicles have that thing which beeps whenever they are in reverse.

Ken said...

"There may be specific work safety rules that the driver violated..."

Such as... "It is unsafe to drive vehicles over people."


Ha!

TWM said...

BTW, Professor, I am visiting your fair city week after next so please have everything fixed by then. I know it is a big job but surely with Meade's help you can do it.

David said...

No matter how you look at it, this is Walker's fault.

If his so-called reforms had really worked, this poor woman would have had a job and would not be sunbathing on a Wednesday afternoon.

DADvocate said...

A couple of years ago, a cop ran over and killed a woman in a city park in Cincinnati. TosaGuy has a good suggestion. We'd be arrested for driving in those areas.

Chip Ahoy said...

So how do you keep the lay lie thing straight? It goes I lay something down but I lie myself down? Is that right? I'm asking how you keep it straight. The part that gets me is the past tense they converge and start sharing laid and lain and I'm telling you, I cannot keep it sorted. This is a real question, I'll come back to see if there's an answer. I'm usually good at this sort of thing but lie lay gets me every time and other languages it's not an issue that I know about. No links please, I'm asking how you keep it sorted.

Scott said...

Accidents do not always result from negligence. They're called accidents for a reason.

That makes no sense. Accidents are usually the result of negligence. They are not mutually exclusive.

Honestly, what are the chances of no negligence, given the facts stated in the news article? I think the rush to discount the volitional nature of the employee's actions is revolting. If the employee doesn't choose to exercise caution in driving a truck, then he is negligent.

If the truck driver doesn't at least lose his job, where is the justice for the woman he drove the truck over?

raf said...

Now that sunbathing has been demonstrated to be hazardous, what kind of safety equipment should be mandated?

raf said...

@ ChipAhoy:

If it takes a direct object, use lay. I lay myself down. I lie down. I lie down by laying myself down.

BarrySanders20 said...

Clapton sang "Lay down, Sally." "Lie Down, Sally" would sound funny, more like a command to a dog. The lying came later if he lied about getting laid.

But Clapton aside, we usually encourage people to "go lie down and take a nap" and most say "I'm going to go lie down," yet we lay -- not lie -- our heads to rest. The courageous are willing to lay -- not lie -- down their lives for us.

So yes, I like your distinction that you lay something down and lie yourself down, unless it is a command, and then your are ordering someone (or a pet) to lie themselves down. Clapton be damned.

If that is the correct present tense, then "I lied down when I got tired" seems to follow, yet is feels more nautural to say "I laid down when I got tired."

Ken said...

TWM,

Accidents do not always result from negligence. They're called accidents for a reason.

False. All auto "accident" are mislabelled "accidents". Every auto "accident" is the cause of negligence, as they call all be avoided through due diligence. And there is no way a woman getting run over in a PARK while sun bathing is not the result of negligence.

TWM said...

"That makes no sense. Accidents are usually the result of negligence. They are not mutually exclusive."

Never said they were, but many accidents are not the result of negligence and in fact the legal definition provides a standard for determining it:

Negligence is a "civil wrong tort causing injury or harm to another person or to property as the result of doing something or failing to provide a proper or reasonable level of care."

What's reasonable is arguable as you should know.

That said, I don't see anyone, and certainly not me, rushing "to discount the volitional nature of the employee's actions." Instead I see several people, including you, rushing to judgement before all the facts are in. Even more so because the poor woman is a city employee (because we know only government employees/union members have accidents).

Perhaps the driver did not use reasonable care. Perhaps she did and screwed-up anyway. (I would bet she did not.)

Time will tell.

X said...

should people even be allowed to sunbathe since we're all sharing health care costs now?

TWM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWM said...

"False. All auto "accident" are mislabelled "accidents". Every auto "accident" is the cause of negligence, as they call all be avoided through due diligence. And there is no way a woman getting run over in a PARK while sun bathing is not the result of negligence."

Never hit a patch of black ice I take it.

BTW, you don't have to bold things to get your message across. It doesn't make you any more correct and it's not like you are really Briebart and yelling at OWS.

roesch/voltaire said...

Now if she had been wearing an offensive T-Shirt similar to the one worn by the women kicked off a plane: "If I wanted the Government in my womb I'd fuck a senator," the thought police could have asked her to remove herself to a bar with a video cam so they could keep track of her actions-- and she would be safer

chickelit said...

Tire tracks all across your back
I can see you had your sun...



"Crosspark Traffic"

Ken said...

TWM,

Never hit a patch of black ice I take it.

I have indeed, which is why I drive super slow, if at all if there is even one snow flake on the ground. My car and tires are not made for driving in icy conditions and I am not negligent enough to think otherwise.

BTW, you don't have to bold things to get your message across. It doesn't make you any more correct and it's not like you are really Briebart and yelling at OWS.

Meh. Let me know when you have something substantive to say. This is like me complaining to you that it's stupid to call yourself TWM and trying to infer you're wrong because of that.

MadisonMan said...

Never hit a patch of black ice I take it.

The negligence would be in scheduling your drive during a time when black ice formation is likely.

cold pizza said...

When it comes to traffic in the park, her bark was worse than his bike. -CP

TWM said...

"The negligence would be in scheduling your drive during a time when black ice formation is likely."

So the good people in Tennesse would be grounded for much of the winter I guess. And since traffic advisories will often tell drivers to drive slowly due to the possibility of black ice and not warn to stay home, I guess that makes the state negligent.

My God, where will it end?

Eh, fine, I give up, just shoot the bitch and bury her body in the mulch.

Leland said...

Never hit a patch of black ice I take it.

Sorry, just too easy... Never slowed down in wintery weather I take it?

TWM said...

"Sorry, just too easy... Never slowed down in wintery weather I take it?"

Seriously? You think slowing down is much help on black ice? How slow would you suggest is reasonable? And do you keep that slower than slow speed the whole trip because, well, the thing about black ice is you can't see it so you never know when it will jump out and bite you.

cold pizza said...

Not meaning to go to far afield, but "bark" is such a wonderful, texturally rich word.

Her face would never be the one
To launch a thousand ships
Although I once beheld a barque
Set sail from 'tween her lips

-CP

Chip S. said...

"Lie, lady, lie" doesn't seem to be quite right, grammar be damned.

Leland said...

This incident reminds me one that took a friend's livelihood and quality of life. Dump Truck, owned and operated by the city, ran a red light at excessive speed. Truck hit my friend's SUV and pushed his vehicle into a few workers completing a sidewalk. One of the workers died.

Despite receiving violations for speeding and failing to stop at a red light; the local DA never pressed charges for negligent homicide. Since he wasn't tried for violating laws, the rest of the drivers actions were indemnified by the city. The city was capped at payable damages by the city per incident, so between my friend's family and deceased worker; they got to share a max $1.5 million. The family of the dead worker got a near million, but they had no medical costs. My friend, got less than $500,000 to cover several surgeries, a loss of mental capability, the remainder of his life bound to a wheel chair, and the need for constant care to even eat or clean himself. He lost his job, but because the injury was another's fault, no insurance coverage.

So yeah, there is different rules for us and government employees. Honestly, there are typically good reasons for it. These situations are not one of those good reasons.

chickelit said...

@Chip:
Early one morning the sun was shining
I was laying in bed
wondering if she'd changed at all
if her hair was still red


Dylan's verbs can be transitive yet inspiring.

TWM said...

Leland:

It sounds like the DA was the issue. If running a red light is not negligence, nothing is. Not that that makes it any easier for your friend.

Bryan C said...

"A crash reconstruction team from the Wisconsin State Patrol worked at the scene to try to determine what the driver of the city Parks truck may or may not have been able to see as she came over a small hill and struck the sunbather."

When you're off road, you don't drive where you can't see. If you can't see over the hill from inside your vehicle you should stop, get out of the truck, and look over the hill.

Leland said...

you never know when it will jump out and bite you.

Speak for yourself. You're no longer arguing negligence; you are suggesting ignorance. You know there is possibility of black ice by learning the conditions in which black ice can occur. If you are ignorant of those conditions, then yes, you'll never know when it might bite you.

Leland said...

It sounds like the DA was the issue.

Certainly, the DA was an issue. Sadly, it really shouldn't have been so, as the accident occurred in an unincorporated area. The city had no jurisdiction (dump truck was just passing through). So the DA should have been independent in many ways, as the jurisdiction resided in the county. The sheriff's deputy at the scene took it to the media, but nothing came of it. The local community raised money and we made sure his then high school age daughter had money for college. My wife being a nurse, we'd go over there to relieve his wife and give her a chance to get out with the daughter.

I don't mean to be a pain about this. It's just that it convinced me that there is too much protection provided to civil servants. Putting the driver in jail wouldn't have helped my friend either, but there wasn't even a possibility of bringing a civil case against the driver.

Leland said...

TWM, please understand I'm debating your understanding. I'm not trying to claim you are ignorant. I should have stated that earlier in my response.

I'm a risk advisor and have worked safety for years. I've studied hundreds of "accidents" from transportation disasters to relatively minor slips, trips, and falls. If something really is an accident (as in no known barrier violation to have prevented it), that's a scary thing. Usually that lack of knowledge is simply ignorance by the incident investigators.

TWM said...

"Speak for yourself. You're no longer arguing negligence; you are suggesting ignorance. You know there is possibility of black ice by learning the conditions in which black ice can occur. If you are ignorant of those conditions, then yes, you'll never know when it might bite you."

Maybe I'm missing something but are you saying you can know where black ice is before you get there? Obviously in winter weather one must drive differently, paying attention to the conditions, but I've been driving down winter roads that are fine and seen cars slide off the road because they hit a patch of black ice that was virtually invisible. And even a car moving slowly is subject sliding when crossing black ice.

So it seems you are arguing a person should know where all black ice is at all times, which we both know is impossible.

If you guys want to argue that every accident is negligence, fine with me, but the law says it is not and for good reason. Because if it were chances are all of us would be in jail or certainly paying off civil suits because we all have accidents.

I'd also like to note that this is an interesting conversation in general - negligence that is - because I can see some of the people arguing that every accident is negligence arguing otherwise if a nanny-stater said they were unfit to judge what is a reasonable risk or not. For example, should a child be allowed to ride his or her bike a mile to school? I would say of course, it's a reasonable risk and something that children have been doing since, well, since bikes were invented I imagine. The nanny-staters would - have actually - said otherwise and called the parents negligent for allowing their kids to do so. It all comes back to reasonablness and who is defining it.

TWM said...

Leland:

I realize you are not saying I am ignorant, although I admit to much ignorance on determining risk and I bow to your expertise.

And I guess I am mixing the apples and oranges of neligence and ignorance.

My main concern is negligence, however, not the shall we say, stupidity of those people having the accidents.

MadisonMan said...

Leland, that completely sucks.

I'm surprised your friend's own car insurance didn't help out. Now I'm wondering if I have that kind of coverage. Hmm...

Skyler said...

This is why the military requires someone to walk in front of a vehicle when they are in any off-road area where people are. Too many people get killed otherwise.

Bob Ellison said...

Dylan also wrote "Lay, lady, lay / lay across my big brass bed." It's not fair that he gets to mess with the language like that, but he's better than we.

Chip's point is good. Lie/lay becomes a labyrinth once you get into tenses. "I lie down today, but yesterday, I lay down." "Had I lain down yesterday, I would not have to lie today."

Chip, I think it's like a melody. You just have to memorize the notes and rhythms.

Leland said...

If you guys want to argue that every accident is negligence, fine with me,

Someone else made that assertion, and I too don't agree. There is certainly cases of intentional collision, such as road rage. There are also cases when the negligence really doesn't belong to the operator (though many argue that the operator shouldn't operate machinery without full knowledge of the condition). I also think from legal and practical sense, there are times when its better to claim no fault than determine root cause.

Mary Beth said...

Lay = place
Lie - recline

The sound of the correct word is within the other word.

chickelit said...

@Chip Ahoy: Sorting out "to lie" and "to lay"...see also "to rise" and "to raise," & "to sit" and "to set," etc. These are Germanic verbs and the latter two pairs are easier to sort out and help with to lie and to lay. I like to remember that they are intransitive and transitive pairings of the same concept (hence my pun directed to the other Chip at 1:11).

tim in vermont said...

"I'll wait to see what rules/procedures/regulations are in place and whether he was following or violating them before I think negligence versus just bad luck accident."

I wonder if there is a rule on the books to drive slowly and carefully when vision is limited by a rise in the terrain or some other obstruction? If not, then I guess she is off the hook.


Yeesh!