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Life extinguished

January 19, 2014

I am writing with a heavy heart over a man I never met, the latest to fall victim to unfortunately being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the high-speed chase in Williamsport that resulte......

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Jan-26-14 5:40 AM

Years ago, as a Philadelphia Fire Department command officer, part of my duties included training of new drivers of fire apparatus as well as medic units and ambulances. Each officer's duties also included ensuring the safe operation of the fire apparatus during the response.

Unless the relevant Pa. law has been changed, our Motor Vehicle Code requires that ALL operators maintain control of their vehicle at all times. That includes emergency vehicles!

Being familiar with that stretch of East Third Street, leaves me with a question..

If I were a police officer, responding to a call for assistance by another officer who announced he had a (drug) suspect detained at gunpoint, at 6:40 pm on a Sunday evening, what speed would I consider safe ??

Definitely not 88mph !!

Rest in peace, Mr. Robinson, .... and condolences to your family.

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Jan-21-14 1:10 PM

I am curious as to why the almighty chief has few comments concerning this incident and instead choose to send minion miller out to face the firestorm. Wonder if that is to keep him from putting his foot in his mouth or to try to avoid exposing the public to his inappropriate potentially exposive behavior?

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Jan-20-14 11:30 PM

A no chase policy is not what I had in mind. If pursuit driving is necessary, under some conditions, at least have experienced officers trained for such and eliminate "high speeds" in residential areas. I would also like to know how to pull over on Third street and Railway where this occurred, there is nowhere to go? I need to have control of my vehicle at all times, so, certainly, should a police officer. Other states, municipalities have made changes to existing policies and so should we (in the event that such a policy even exists!) Perhaps an overview of all polices should be examined.

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Jan-19-14 7:19 PM

Yoxtheimer-"you badge licker!"

Badge licker? LOL Are you mad because it was your dealer they arrested?

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Jan-19-14 5:11 PM

Nancy Robinson raised a very fine son. He is with the Lord Jesus Christ. We grieve but also celebrate. People I know who casually knew of him remark about how helpful and kind a gentleman he was. He left that memory with so many. Well done Mr. Robinson. You had no idea how long on this earth you had to share Christ's love. You certainly made the best use of your time. Now your eternal reward is great in heaven. Don't be sad that we squabble over things that don't matter. Pray for us that we might be more like you and follow your example.

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Jan-19-14 5:00 PM

Discussing this over dinner another point came to light. Everyone seems to be making this about the pursuit. This officer was responding to back up other officers involved in the pursuit. This could have just as easily been a shooting the officer was responding to, or a robbery, a stabbing, a fight, domestic violence, a medical emergency or any number of other emergencies.

Would we be having the same conversation if he was not responding to the vehicle pursuit?

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Jan-19-14 4:48 PM

thecaringkind-"Traveling at such a high rate of speed"

What was the speed the officer was traveling?

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Jan-19-14 4:11 PM

If the Pennlive story is accurate, it reveals many here as anti-police and pro-criminal.

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Jan-19-14 2:50 PM

If the lights and sirens were activated and Mr Robinson turned into the path of the Cruiser who was passing him (a legal maneuver for emergency vehicles), what evidence do you have that supports your claim of negligence, let alone vehicular homicide?

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Jan-19-14 2:47 PM

Troy, This is from an article from Pennlive:

"Emergency lights and siren were activated on a city police cruiser before the fiery collision Sunday evening that killed the driver of another vehicle, investigators say... Both vehicles were eastbound on Third Street and as DePrenda was about the pass, Robinson made a left turn onto Railway Street, investigators said. The impact sent Robinson's car into a utility pole and fire hydrant, severing both of them. The impact sent Robinson's car into a utility pole and fire hydrant, severing both of them. The car then came to a stop against a vacant house and burst into flames which spread to the house. Robinson, who was on his way to work, according to police, was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother, Nancy Robinson, is a City Hall employee.

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Jan-19-14 12:06 PM

Based on the information available it appears that the responding officer was reckless at best and criminally negligent at worst. Traveling at such a high rate of speed at the location of the crash showed a blatant lack of good sense and judgement and it cost a man his life. 'Just doing his job' I don't think will ever be a good enough excuse for his actions and the sad results thereof.

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Jan-19-14 11:51 AM

Yoxtheimer said:

"High speed pursuit's aren't necessary."

That is a nice idea to support your local drug dealer.

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Jan-19-14 11:39 AM

Yoxtheimer-"He should be charged with vehicular manslaughter just like any civilian would had they caused this violent wreck!"

He did? I must have missed the facts of this accident.

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Jan-19-14 10:25 AM

The deceased individual was by all experiences one of the nicest humans God put on this earth. We cannot comprehend how such a fate would befall such a beautiful individual. That being said, what did happen? What is "high speed" and was that a factor? Does anyone even know what speeds were involved? Does anyone even know the physical and kinetic events and forces that did occur specific to this accident? 107 Police Officers died in the line of duty in 2013, 31 from gunshots. The law in most every state and municipality allows for suspension of traffic rules to accommodate emergency response.

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Jan-19-14 9:49 AM

Short of standing in front on City Hall and holding signs that read "release the dashboard camera footage" all we can do is wait for state police to release their report.

Whenever that happens... it took three days just to release the name of the officer involved.

The SG should add a graphic to the frontpage of the paper: "XXX days and still no report"

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Jan-19-14 9:25 AM

Laughin, I agree. I think the information is being suppressed more because of the eventual possibility of a civil suit than because of a pending investigation. I'm quite sure the city attorney is pulling the strings on this one.

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Jan-19-14 9:06 AM

??to begin with?

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Jan-19-14 9:03 AM

It doesn't matter what the truth is folks, because it will never get printed in the SG correctly. I see the editor and Mr. Stender have tried to write an article about this very subject and does it support the police department? Why do I get the feeling the SG gets very little information from City Hall to being?

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Jan-19-14 7:51 AM

Spike, I agree, we should wait until the investigation is over. I'm just basing my opinion on what is being reported and from what I learned from a relative who was a first responder at the scene. But you know what they say about opinions. :-)

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Jan-19-14 7:30 AM

Cap - it's not an internal investigation. Whatever comes to light will be through the PaSP, not the city. I'm also a little surprised you would guess at all. Do we guess on guilt or innocence or even file charges against someone without an investigation? I think I am over-reading your comment but no investigation should have anything released piecemeal. Let's let the PaSP, crash and reconstruction experts all do their job first.

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Jan-19-14 7:05 AM

I think this letter is an over-reaction to an accident.

Accidents are part of life. There is no absolute safety available.

When was the last time someone in our area died as a result of a high-speed pursuit?

Spike is correct in advising we wait for the full report before jumping to conclusions.

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Jan-19-14 7:03 AM

Spike, if I was a betting man I would place my bet on the fact that this officer was responding to the assist call at a high rate of speed, overtaking the victims vehicle with no emergency lights and siren on. JMO but if he did have his lights and siren on, I don't think the Police Chief would be silent about it like he has been when asked. Like you said, we will find out when the investigation is complete.

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Jan-19-14 6:23 AM

First, everyone continues to speculate. No one is found to have blame or lack thereof. PaSP has not issued findings. We now have a percentage of our local community convincing themselves they are accident reconstruction experts by performing a drive-by to feed their prurient interests. First, wait for the results. Second, any policy will still always need exceptions. Just as there will be dangers there will also be dozens of scenarios where aggressive behavior by emergency vehicles may be warranted. Third, there are no helicopters here. They were taken away from PaSP well-over a year ago. Our legislators tried to get them back. The helicopters you may see are medical going to and from SHS with entirely different equipment.Finally, I do believe the entire community is saddened by this man's death, wish condolences to his family and would be of any help they could. Conversely, we have no idea how the officer is also suffering.Let's wait on the PaSP.

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Jan-19-14 5:27 AM

No one wants to see an innocent person die or get injured, vehicle chases are dangerous. But having a no-chase policy would result in a lot of other people 'running' rather than pulling over when the police tried to stop you if they know that the police can't chase you if they do.

In my opinion, you would create more dangerous situations because people simply know all they have to do is run.

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