Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tragic Catch-22

No matter the sentence imposed by our system of justice on 75- year-old Parvin Niroomand, who drove W-A-Y over the centerline into the opposite lane to impale 33-year-old cyclist Misty Bassi on a bright sunny Memorial Day morning and then fled the scene, nobody wins...absolutely nobody.

(I should point out her excuse that she simply thought she hit a tree, but if you believe that you probably also believe 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by our government.)

Since the family of Misty Bassi asked the court for leniency on her killer, I'm not going to argue. And, thank God, Ms. Niroomand will never drive again. But I wonder about the killer of 21-year-old Blake Goodman run over the night of September 12 in North Amherst by a hit-and-driver who is still at large.

Yeah, maybe it sends a positive message: Turn yourself in, show remorse and you will be let off easy (especially if you are a female senior citizen).

At the very least, it should remind cyclist (and their immediate family): you're on your own.

The Springfield Republican reports


Anonymous said...

There's a difference between an accident and deliberately trying to kill someone. It was a tragedy, filled with mistakes by the driver, but she doesn't deserve jail time.

LarryK4 said...


But she (I honestly believe knowingly) ran from the scene.

And only quick police work turned her up.

Mel said...


LarryK4 said...

Remember her smile, the tone of her voice and her laughter...the good times you had.

Anonymous said...

This is not intended as a comment on the specific facts of this case.

Yes, there's a difference between an accident and deliberately trying to kill someone. But that's not the end of the analysis. Between those two, there's a continuum of action and intention. Some of that continuum includes negligent, criminal conduct. In other words, one can be guilty of motor vehicle homicide, or some other criminal offense, without "deliberately trying to kill someone".

The underlying issue in this case might be: just what is the level of self-awareness that we expect of aging people about their declining abilities to operate a motor vehicle? Do we expect them to respond to that awareness and take themselves off the road at some point? And if they don't and they insist on continuing to drive, do they deserve to be punished with incarceration when they make a mistake and hurt someone?

I know it's unusual for this to be said on this blog, but none of this is easy.

As for this case, until a prosecutor makes a statement in a courtroom about what she/he thinks can be proved with evidence, we don't really know exactly what happened here. And, what we read in the papers never quite seems to be enough of the story.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry:

I didn't see the story linked from this blog. Looks like the prosecutor, ADA Doran, gave her summary already to the judge.

There is nothing more powerful in a courtroom than the expression of forgiveness. I have been fortunate to witness it on several occasions, and I won't forget it.

God bless this victim's family and friends.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Despite this tragedy, and several other recent ones across the country that got a lot of press, senior drivers actually have a much lower accident rate than the rest of the population. It's teenagers, especially new drivers, that are the biggest risk.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at the outcome of this.
Ok- so it's great that Misty's family can forgive. But it's so hard to digest the fact that she left the scene. How can you NOT know someone just smashed into your windshield. She even PULLED OVER!!! Then drove off and stopped at the red light! And that's how - thank God - I got her plate number. Even IF she thought she hit a tree - why go home? Why not go to the police station which is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET - ya know, get a police report for insurance purposes.
No excuse. She's is so lucky. She should be on life probation if not going to jail.

LarryK4 said...

Thanks for doing your duty as a good citizen.

There is such a minimal threshold for at least attempting to do what is right. Ms. Niroomand of course, failed that.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear:

The Leaving the Scene is a separate crime with its own statutory punishment, distinct from the charge for hitting the poor bicyclist.

One hears some pretty amazing explanations at sentencing hearings.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

While I don't like to remain anonymous, I will, to protect all involved.

I would like to assure you, Mr. Kelley, that what occurred was an tragic accident.

To assume anything else, absent any knowledge beyond what you read in the print media, Mr. Kelley, is irresponsible. And I know how deeply you resent irresponsible behavior, Mr. Kelley, on the part of those with power and responsibility.

I honestly believe that you honestly believe that Mrs. Noorimand ran from the scene. And I know that you are wrong. And thus I know that you are hypocritically guilty of presenting your honest, uninformed, nearly completely unfounded opinion as judgmental conviction.

Since I haven't met you, and I likely never will, and I know better that to let my honestly felt assumptions become hostile, hurtful judgments that do nothing but diminish me and all those around me, I will withhold judgment on you.

I wish you the best, Mr. Kelley, and I hope that in the painful moments in your life that are sure to come, you're not held up for public judgment by an ignorant, hurtful blogger.

LarryK4 said...

Oh I'm sure I will be held up for "public judgment" right here on my own blog--by Anons of course.

Anonymous said...

According to the Springfield Republican, the woman pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

She admitted to leaving the scene.

She wasn't there to provide her information to the police.

This time, I don't think it's about Mr. Kelley.

Anonymous said...

Larry, stick to your specialty of crying without action and leave 911 to the experts. 911 WAS an inside job! 951 architectural and engineering professionals and 5387 other supporters including A&E students have the proof! Myself being a welder for 25 years, and we welders being a VERY thrifty bunch, if we could cut steel with jet fuel we would! Your emotional blindness is part of the problem! Do something productive and press charges for that UN flag in your town! You have standing to file suit! Stay out of the 911 story, you look like a fool.

Ed said...

Bicycle operators not innocent.

I am not talking about these two fatalities because I simply don't know. But there are a lot of bicyclists who should be simply arrested for being a public hazard.

H***, I was once stopped in traffic on Main Street and a bicycle came down the hill and hit ME.

One can not always hold the bicycle innocent