Deputy, sheriff’s actions inexcusable
On Monday, Aug 26, I received a call from some friends in Southern California asking for our help in comforting some very good friends of theirs who were involved in a serious auto accident near New Castle on Friday, Aug 23.
I explained that I had not even heard about it, but we would be more than happy to visit the victims and give comfort if we could. I also fully expected to read about the accident in Monday’s Post Independent.
Much to my surprise, there was no mention of the accident in the newspaper. Curious, I thought. Then, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, I was shocked when I read Paul Cutright’s letter about observing a Garfield County deputy who elected not to stop and give assistance to the people in that automobile. He instead merely stopped momentarily and then continued on to Silt.
I was even more shocked when I read Sheriff Dalessandri’s explanation of the deputy’s actions. A deputy sheriff arriving at the scene of an accident like this is obligated to give assistance, period. I do not care if he does not have emergency equipment. He is trained in CPR and should have other trauma treatment abilities. At the very minimum he should have gotten out and directed traffic instead of allowing a civilian to do it.
How does he know if one of the people that died could not have been saved if he had acted? Or perhaps one of the two survivors could have been relieved of some pain or further injury had he acted?
The survivors, one of whom my wife visited Wednesday, both suffered severe spinal injuries and are facing years (at the minimum) of therapy and possibly spending the rest of their lives in pain.
This deputy should be relieved of his badge and fired immediately. His total lack of concern and compassion, not to mention his dereliction of duty, makes him unfit to wear the badge.
Beyond the obvious though, the sheriff’s explanation and the lack of coverage by this newspaper smell like a cover-up to me. What do you think?
Editor’s note: A story about the accident appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 22, edition of the Post Independent.
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