Sam Scott Case Update
“In this case, there are no winners. There are only losers.” Those were the words the judge in court extended today (Friday, March 8, 2013) to everyone who was present for the resolution of the Sam Scott case. He also said this case was a sad example of what can happen when someone drinks and drives.
Today ended the long string of postponements in the case of Emily Hagan, the intoxicated driver who hit Sam Scott while he was on his bicycle on Delmar Blvd. on the evening of February 3, 2012. Sam died shortly after. Ms. Hagan pled guilty of involuntary manslaughter and waived her right to a trial. The judge sentenced her to three years in a Missouri Correctional Center.
Sam’s mom had a few paragraphs about Sam prepared and the victim’s read them aloud. Sam’s mom wanted the judge and those present to understand who Sam was, not just from her point of view but from others. She wrote about what losing Sam meant to his best friends and his beloved girl friend. She quoted a powerful letter of reference written by one of Sam’s teachers. I was left knowing the world is poorer because we lost Sam.
I don’t pretend to know whether Ms. Hagan’s sentence is “fair” or not. Would she have served more time if she had hit and killed a pedestrian or the driver of another motorized vehicle? Did having a high-powered defense attorney affect the outcome of her sentence?
Am I satisfied with the outcome? As the judge underscored, there can be no satisfaction today. Instead, there must be continued and heightened work to pass essential policies, build the best infrastructure, and educate all users how to safely share our roads. Trailnet is committed to doing just that.
I do believe the presence of bike/ped advocates in court, through the past 13 months of set and postponed court dates, made an impression in the end. I believe Susan Scott’s confidence in Trailnet sent a message that Sam’s community includes everyone who chooses for transportation an alternative to a motorized vehicle. All of us at Trailnet are deeply saddened by the loss of Sam and that no amount of grief, remorse, or punishment will change the unchangeable.
Please be an advocate for safe roads by committing to driving sober and not allowing your friends or family to drive while intoxicated or distracted. Ever. Remember Sam.