Rod Bramblett and Wife in Serious Car Accident; Wife Passes Away (Update: Both Pass Away)

NationalTitles17

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May 25, 2003
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You can't get around the fact that actions have consequences. I don't know what the answer is here and I think it depends on multiple factors. There are no good answers - just two dead people, one messed up kid, and two families that will never be the same.
 

Con

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Dec 19, 2006
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I see kids make the same stupid mistakes day after day. It is like they never learn from their mistakes. I have a 19 year old and I just hope he has listened to things I have tried to tell him over the years. Killing two people isn't just a "mistake" though. Drinking and driving I can give you as a mistake, but once you kill people with your actions that changes the whole "mistake" into something larger. Which of the two families has it worse though, the family who will never see their parents again or the family who will see their child get out of jail in a few years? If it were my family who was killed I know how I would feel about it.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Nov 8, 2004
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I see no good answers here.

Two people dead way before their time. Two teenagers without either parent. One teenager who will never be the same....so we tend to think.

Absent significant punishment for the driver, I'm a bit skeptical on that last one. I won't bore you with the nitty-gritty, bit I'm personally well aware of the details of two teenagers who killed people in totally unrelated incidents, decades apart. One driving a boat way too fast when he hit another boater. The other under 18 driving a car, drunk, killed a passenger. Neither received significant punishment. Both are adults now (one in his 60s). And while I can't say what goes through their minds when nobody else is around, both give every outward appearance of not giving their actions another thought.

So a free pass, or close to it, because you don't want to ruin a third life doesn't seem right. Actions that egregious, no matter how young the perpetrator, have to have appropriate consequences. But locking a 16-year-old up for 30 years doesn't seem right either. So what is "appropriate"? I wish I knew.

I'll throw out two years in juvenile lockup -- gets him to 18. Then figure the cost to raise the Bramblett children to age 22, and 30% the driver's earnings to go to them until such time as the cost, plus interest at whatever replaces LIBOR + 2.5%, is repaid. If an insurance policy takes care of the cost to raise the Bramblett children, the restituton goes to reimburse the insurance company -- and I promise you, if they have a legal claim on the earnings, they will pursue him for the debt.

That keeps him out of hard core time. But it reminds him every day for a long time, of the impact of his actions.

Not perfect, I know. But I'd love to hear other ideas that both serve justice and keep a 16-year-old life from being effectively over.
 
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crimsonaudio

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Sep 9, 2002
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I have no idea if 4QBC's idea is good or not, but I like they way he's thinking. There has to be some sort of punitive action for this if we expect the young man to ever learn from this, but there need to be limits that understand the limitations of the young mind as well, imo.
 

Toddrn

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Nov 29, 2006
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I agree he has to be held responsible for his actions. If they don't prosecute him it tells every other 16 y/o that anything goes. Sometimes when we make a mistake there are huge consequences.
I have no idea if 4QBC's idea is good or not, but I like they way he's thinking. There has to be some sort of punitive action for this if we expect the young man to ever learn from this, but there need to be limits that understand the limitations of the young mind as well, imo.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Nov 8, 2004
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I have no idea if 4QBC's idea is good or not, but I like they way he's thinking. There has to be some sort of punitive action for this if we expect the young man to ever learn from this, but there need to be limits that understand the limitations of the young mind as well, imo.
Yeah, CA....I'm not sure if it's a good idea myself.

Far too often, though, discussions center on what won't work: "We can't do this because...." "That doesn't make sense because...." Then, when it comes time to make a decision on the right thing to actually do, the cacophony suddenly stops, and you can hear the slipstream whistling faintly in the distance. It's my biggest pet peeve.

So to the TF posters: You're the judge. Your ruling must balance justice for the Brambletts, both the deceased and their survivors, with the circumstances of the driver.

What say you?
 

DrollTide

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Oct 18, 2008
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Re: Rod Bramblett and Wife in Serious Car Accident; Wife Passes Away

The punishment is not really about the kid. I dont think of it as "revenge". It is about every other kid, each of whom make a minute-by-minute choice about whether to "feel the power" or whatever he was doing. What is the ideal punishment such that other 16 year olds say "oh. Ooooh. Woah, I better not do that".

And sure, 16 year olds do stupid stuff no matter what - I did too, in my own small way. So, as always, it is a statistics thing, what is the ideal punishment that produces the most statistical benefit on teen behavior for the least actual long-term harm to the kid. But for me, the harm to the perpetrator is secondary to the results achieved (if any - I'm not an expert in teen psychology, other than having been one many years ago).
 

colbysullivan

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Dec 12, 2007
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No excuses for going 91 in a 55. This is more “teen thinks nothing bad can happen to him” attitude. Now he gets to learn the hard way, I hope he spends a long time in jail.

91 freaking miles per hour!! That would be ridiculous on the interstate. I’m probably in the minority but, I have no sympathy for this kid. Play stupid games...
Exactly this. I said the same thing. That amount of speed is ridiculous. No sympathy for this kid. He needs to go to prison for a long time.
 

DzynKingRTR

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Dec 17, 2003
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Maybe the real issue is allowing 16 year olds to drive. I mean, if their brains aren’t developed enough to understand that going 91 in a 55 is a bad idea then, maybe they shouldn’t even be given the opportunity.
There are 20+ year olds that don't understand that is bad. It is not just limited to 16 year olds.
 

deliveryman35

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Jul 26, 2003
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Research negligent entrustment. The answer is maybe the parents may be liable. For example if the kid has a dangerous driving history and they continued to let him drive, they knew he was high as a kite etc.
He’s a minor, so I would think they have liability in this case. I’m no lawyer, but I would think that it would probably depend on what kind of assets the family has as to whether or not a civil lawsuit is filed.
 

seebell

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Mar 12, 2012
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He’s a minor, so I would think they have liability in this case. I’m no lawyer, but I would think that it would probably depend on what kind of assets the family has as to whether or not a civil lawsuit is filed.
https://www.crossandsmith.com/car-accidents/negligent-entrustment-claims-alabama/

some good info:
In Alabama, you can successfully hold the vehicle owner liable if you can prove that the following elements are true:

  1. The driver was incompetent;
  2. The vehicle owner permitted the driver to use the vehicle;
  3. The vehicle owner knew or should have reasonably known that the driver was incompetent; and
  4. The driver’s incompetence substantially contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries.
[FONT=Roboto, sans-serif]For example, imagine that you suffer injures in a motor vehicle collision. As it turns out, the defendant-driver was speeding and driving while distracted at the time of the accident. You later discover that the vehicle owner knew that the driver was incompetent to drive — the driver had multiple ticketing violations for their behavior, and had their license suspended. Under such circumstances, you could almost certainly bring a negligent entrustment action against the vehicle owner for damages.[/FONT]
[FONT=Roboto, sans-serif] I speak from personal experience. Maybe I will elaborate later.. [/FONT][FONT=Roboto, sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=Roboto, sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=Roboto, sans-serif] I'm sure there will be a lawsuit but the parents or vehicle owners are not automatically liable. [/FONT]:biggrin:Why do we need lawyers when seebell is here?
 

Rama Jama

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I think this was a tragic accident. which left 2 young relatively children without parents. With that said, I do believe the kid needs counseling with possible a short juvenile detention sentence , but again, I don't think jail or prison time is the answer. If we jail every kid who does something stupid with a car, there won't be any teenagers left to fill our schools. My question this "If this was not a famous couple, what would the punishment be"? I have to wonder if there would even be any charges if the accident victims happened to be a non well known family and the accident happened in Cullman county.
 

The Ols

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Jul 8, 2012
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2 dead, 91 and HIGH..There would be charges...
I think this was a tragic accident. which left 2 young relatively children without parents. With that said, I do believe the kid needs counseling with possible a short juvenile detention sentence , but again, I don't think jail or prison time is the answer. If we jail every kid who does something stupid with a car, there won't be any teenagers left to fill our schools. My question this "If this was not a famous couple, what would the punishment be"? I have to wonder if there would even be any charges if the accident victims happened to be a non well known family and the accident happened in Cullman county.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
The older I get, the more I hate cases like this.

The natural, human instinct is to want to inflict retaliatory pain on the guilty party. Look, I feel that same way about it instinctively. There's a tendency to want to lash out in revenge at the driver - or at the parents since the driver is 16 years old. We demand SOMEONE pay for this!!!

I feel the same way.

On the flip side - what good is that actually going to do long-term? After all, how many times will be told things like "nothing is sufficient to replace the lost life" (which is 100% true) from the very same folks demanding some sort of retribution?

I don't know the answer, I really don't. But I'm no longer totally persuaded that simply adding the driver to the list of "basically lost his life opportunities" as well is necessarily the best long term outcome.


Maybe he needs to do some time with photos of the Bramblett's in his cell.
Maybe he needs a ten-year driving ban; he can be responsible enough to live on campus at school or close to his job.
Maybe he needs to have counseling as well.
Maybe he needs to go around years from now talking about this at high schools or colleges and why it's stupid and how immortal he thought he was and what he wakes up with every single day.


I'm all for tough sentencing with the idea of "let the punishment fit the crime," but I also have a hard time justifying a ten-year prison sentence when you've got lesser sentences for things like rape. Intent enters into it and while he was stupid, I was pretty stupid at 16, too. And while I never drove at 91 mph at that age, I did drive much faster down dirt roads in rural MS than I should have.

Because I was immortal.
 

Go Bama

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Dec 6, 2009
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I have a buddy in Colorado, and they have seen a 400% increase in accidents involving marijuana since it was legalized.
I can’t find any corroborative evidence of the 400%.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/5/18210827/marijuana-traffic-fatality-deaths-transportation-public-health

Last October, a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute found that crashes are 6 percent higher in states that legalized marijuana compared to four neighboring states where marijuana is not legal. Yet a different study from the American Journal of Public Health found no statistical difference in crash death rates three years after legalization.
 

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