Friday, August 13, 2010

He didn't make it

Was it an accident, a murder or a suicide?  I had to decide quickly to determine who should be called to assist at the crime scene.  It was just getting dark when 911 dispatched  me to investigate a pedestrian that had been struck by two vehicles on a busy four lane metropolitan boulevard that had a double guard rail separating opposing traffic.  We’ll call him Wayne.

My first job was to determine if the fire department and ambulance company should be cancelled since they are dispatched at the same time police are sent.   As soon as I saw the pedestrian I knew there was NO WAY there could be any life remaining so I cancelled the fire rescue and ambulance then requested the County Coroner respond.  The coroner is responsible for the investigation and determination of the cause and manner of all sudden, violent, or unusual deaths.

I also requested two additional patrol units to block all traffic and divert traffic off of the two boulevard lanes so an investigation could be safely completed.  As I was examining the crime scene, I saw a pair of handcuffs in the path of the victim.  I spoke to the driver of a large Cadillac that had hit Wayne. He told me a Ford Ranchero first hit the pedestrian in the lane closest to the double median guard rail that divides the four lanes, knocking Wayne into his lane of traffic. This driver told me there was no way he could avoid hitting Wayne.

I obtained a description of the hit and run vehicle and radioed the information for all cars to apprehend the driver and seize the vehicle for processing.  Based on what I was observing there would be significant damage to the right front headlight and fender.
Under 1000 Under 90000 Miles High Miles FORDRANCHERO

While I was investigating the accident, I noticed a Ford Ranchero with only one working headlight sitting on the opposite side of the boulevard where several cars had stopped (rubber-necking) to see what was happening. 
I radioed for another police unit to make contact with this suspect and sure enough it was our suspect vehicle.
This driver, Jack, explained that he was scared and drove off but his conscience got the better of him so he returned to the crime scene.  However, he didn’t have the courage to contact me because he had been drinking and had not stopped at the scene of the accident.  Jack told me he was on his way home from work and had stopped at a bar for a couple of beers (it is always just a couple of beers).  I now contacted our fatal traffic accident investigators to process Jack for vehicular homicide and book him into jail.

Next I interviewed a witness and based on what the witness told me I contacted detectives so they also could process the crime scene because now Wayne was possibly a homicide victim. This witness told me he saw Wayne jump out of the back seat of a four door sedan that had two men sitting in the front seat as the car slowed in traffic.  Wayne was handcuffed as he ran through heavy traffic then jumped the median barrier into fast moving traffic going the opposite direction and was hit by the Ford Ranchero knocking him in front of the Cadillac.

  • Were friends driving Wayne to a mental health hospital because he was suicidal and had agreed to be handcuffed for everyone’s safety?  No one ever came forward to claim Wayne’s remains and his ex girlfriend thought he was suicidal when she knew him.  
  • Earlier in the afternoon a private security guard had arrested and handcuffed a shoplifter that got away.  The guard said the handcuffs did not match his pair.     
  • No local law enforcement agency had a prisoner escape this day.
  • Detectives told me their investigation indicated it may have been a drug deal gone bad. Perhaps the buyers ripped off the drugs that Wayne was selling and were going to drop him off in the woods somewhere.  Instead, Wayne took his chances by running for his life across the busy boulevard but, he didn't make it.  
Helaman 9: 15 Now, as for the murder of this man, we know not who has done it; and only this much we know, we ran and came according as ye desired, and behold he was dead ….

This case was never solved. So what do you think? Was it an accident? A murder? Or a suicide?

When the Lord comes again will you be running towards Him or away from Him. Will you stumble and fall as you run away from Him into the darkness. Or, will your hands be free to reach out to His mercy and forgiveness because you have not shackled yourself with sin.  
We all need to heed Amulek’s warning in Alma 34: For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their laborsAnd now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
                  To read more about Jesus Christ and preparing to meet Him see