While hundreds of thousands of people marched against gun violence across the nation, the victims of another type of violence–one that kills just as many victims as firearms–were somehow lost in the shuffle.
We are speaking about one of the leading causes of death in our country–drunk driving.
Actually, if you look at the total number of deaths involving weapons, knives kill more people than guns.
But we digress on that … for now.
The Post will attempt to put this issue into a proper perspective. Our readers need to understand that drunk drivers continue to kill and maim people at the same level as gun violence, often times with little or no consequences.
The Post reported on an incident that occurred right here in Baltimore County. Our story revealed the devastating consequences of a crime to which our politicians have long turned their backs. The pols are not the only ones to blame–the criminal justice system continues to give repeat offenders the opportunity to create more victims, time and time again.
Let’s take a look at what issues Mr. Kelby L. Tews, a three-time repeat offender, caused for a middle-class working family.
We begin with the injuries sustained by Mrs. Juana Church. Those injuries will forever alter Mrs. Church’s life physically, mentally, and financially. She needed a two-week stay at Shock Trauma plus additional care that added to a total of two months of medical treatment due to the following injuries:
- Fractured clavicle bone
- Punctured and collapsed lung
- Damaged aorta which required 3 pints of blood
- Five broken ribs
- Both hips were fractured
- Broken pelvic
- Two broken bones in the lower back
- Possible permanent nerve damage to left side
Now, let us take a look at the financial impact on this middle-class family:
- A stair lift installed the victims home – $997
- Nine month rental fee for stair lift – $1,200
- Private ambulance service transport victim back and forth to various doctors – $1;695
- Parking fees at shock trauma – $200
- Airfare for daughter to fly in and assist her mother – $495
- Physical therapy for victim Mrs. Church – $1,200
- Hospital bills paid to date – $4,813
According to Mr. Church, these bills are just the tip of the iceberg. Both Mr. and Mrs. Church worked before the accident, but that is no longer the case. Coupled with the overwhelming care that will be required for Mrs. Church due to her disability, that loss of income will severely impact the family.
The Post wants to ask our politicians why they would create a system that allows such devastation by repeat offenders. We are also quite sure that many of our readers have had some rather negative encounters with their respective insurance companies.
Think for a moment what happens when Mr. Church must take off from work to take his wife to her numerous doctors appointments. Remember, these are working middle-class citizens, so all income is needed just to get by these days.
Yet our politicians have allowed similar tragedies to occur on our county roadways.
As you read in our first column, Mr. Tews was a three-time repeat offender. According to Mr. Church and his attorney, at the time of the accident the defendant was operating his brother’s vehicle. Mr. Church also advised that, according to his attorney, neither Mr. Tews nor his brother have any assets listed in their names, so recovery is even more difficult. To make matters even worse, both Mr. Tews and his brother had the least amount of liability insurance coverage allowable under state law, as noted below:
- For all polices written or renewed after January 1, 2011, the minimum amount of liability coverage required by Maryland Law is
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
- $60,000 bodily injury per accident; and
- $15,000 property damage
Take, for example, the $15,000 property damage clause. That amount would hardly scratch the surface of the late model vehicle owned by Mrs. Church.
Prior to publishing this column, The Post interviewed Mr. Church. The impact on his family is beyond devastating. Mr. Church stated that his wife suffers continuous pain in her leg and cannot walk properly. Before the accident, Mr. and Mrs. Church were working hard to achieve their middle-class dreams; within a split second, someone took that away from them because of the system that is normally corrupt, disdainful, and deserving of the name “the asylum in Annapolis.”
Mr. Church summed it up this way: “Even if he was to get some jail time, once the time is over, his life goes on. As for my wife and I, we are facing a lifetime sentence.”
This might be a question for Maryland State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. to answer. Mr. Redmer is currently running for Baltimore County Executive. He has stated that he will not step down from his job as insurance commissioner.
The March For Life made a national statement that it’s time for a complete change at the local, state, and federal levels.
Apparently, our politicians are not listening to anything but their own greed and lust for power.
As we have stated before, remember all of this when you cast your vote in the midterm elections. It’s time for a transfusion of new blood into the political cesspool.
The Baltimore Post will follow this issue very carefully. We hope that our somewhat inefficient state’s attorney, Scott Shellenberger, will set aside his normal plea deal strategy and go for the maximum sentence allowable under the law. Anything less would be an egregious act on the part of a law enforcement official representing Baltimore County.