Monday, October 17, 2005

Racoon Relaxes at New Orleans Zoo (back to Normal for this one)


Subject:That's right 
Date:Sat, 8 Oct 2005 18:42:15 EDT 

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are flying on Air Force One over New Orleans. Bush turns to Cheney and says, chuckling, "You know, I could throw a $1000 bill out the window right now and make someone very happy." 
Cheney shrugs and replies, "Well, I could throw ten $100 bills out the 
window and make ten people happy." 
Not to be outdone, Rumsfeld says, "Well I could throw a hundred $10 bills 
out the window and make a hundred people happy." 
The pilot overhearing this says to his co-pilot, "Such arrogant asses back there. Hell, I could throw them out the window and make millions of people happy." 

Will Bus Driver Be The Scapegoat in Fatal Crash?

The article below from The Associated Press states that the driver of the bus, an undocumented 37 yr, old Mexican citizen, attempting to flee Hurricane Rita which caught fire killing 23 elderly nursing home patients was charged with negligent homicide. It appears the brakes failed and as a result a fire broke out and people died, some were rescued. It is not clear if the bus driver rescued people or not, although unconfirmed reports from witnesses say he did.

The news item quotes a Sheriff Sgt. spokesman who said ..."Safe transportation from the nursing home to the final destination is his (meaning the bus driver) responsibility. Based on the end result, he failed in that responsibility." I find it outrageous that the blame does not to extend to the Bus Company that failed to keep its buses in good order which is also mentioned in the article. If it was the brakes not anything the driver did but the company's failure, how can the bus driver be charged with this serious offense? Is he being scapegoated because he is a Mexican without the proper papers? It is also easier to blame the little guy in a situation like this. We will have to wait and see who else is charged in this case but this situation bears watching.

Bus Driver Faces Homicide Charges

Vehicle Caught Fire While Fleeing Hurricane Rita, Killing 23


DALLAS (Oct. 17) - The driver of a bus that caught fire while carrying nursing-home patients fleeing Hurricane Rita was charged Monday with criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of 23 passengers.Juan Robles Gutierrez, a 37-year-old Mexican citizen, was taken into federal custody on an immigration violation five days after the Sept. 23 explosion near Dallas.
Sgt. Don Peritz, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department, would not give any specific examples of any negligence by Robles, saying details will be released if he is indicted.

"The bus is under his care, custody and control, and so is everyone on board," he said. "Safe transportation from the nursing home to the final destination is his responsibility. Based on the end result, he failed in that responsibility."
There was no comment Monday from the bus company, Global Limo Inc., which was shut down by federal officials earlier this month because its drivers and the condition of its vehicles were "likely to result in serious injury or death." Its telephone has been disconnected.

Peritz said the investigation was continuing and additional charges could be filed.
The bus erupted in flames fire about 16 hours after leaving Houston. Some passengers and the driver escaped, but the flames, fed by 18 medical oxygen tanks, trapped many inside.From the beginning, investigators focused on the condition of the bus brakes. A motorist told investigators he motioned the driver to pull over shortly after seeing a rear wheel hub that was glowing red.

Authorities said Robles did not mention the encounter with the other driver when they interviewed him after the fire.
Sheriff Lupe Valdez said investigators also found no evidence that Robles helped several people off the bus before it was engulfed in flames, which was widely reported after the explosion."After an exhausting number of interviews, we have been unable to confirm any of those claims," Valdez said in a statement. However, Peritz said a failure to help crash victims was not part of the charges against Robles.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has said that the bus' right rear brakes failed because of the loss of bearings, and that the left rear brakes were "not maintained in good working order."

10-17-05 14:42 EDT