Monday, October 6, 2014

The Price of Fun?

Sean M Foster about to be arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court this morning

In District Court this morning with his mother, who posted $500 cash bail, Sean M. Foster had a plea of not guilty entered in his behalf and his case was continued to November 3 so he could hire his own attorney.



In addition to the $500 bail, Mr. Foster, age 22, will undergo random alcohol screening while on bail.

 
Demolished vehicle.  Note APD interviewing occupants

In a spectacular accident early Sunday morning, Sean Foster piloted his vehicle into a tree just off North East Street (yards before it becomes Henry Street) in North Amherst, where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH.

The impact demolished his car and sent two of his (four) passengers to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, one of whom is in critical condition.

1:45 AM ish
video


The Morning After:

 Tree seems to have survived impact



Retracing path of vehicle.  Note curve with Shutesbury Road, Flat Hills on right.  Distance to tree impact from there about 225 feet of straight road.

 Mailbox did not survive impact

View of road just before hitting tree on left

Photos/videos by Larry Kelley.  All rights reserved

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you meant while on bail and not on probation in relation to the testing

Wow... paralyzed...

Is it para or quadra?

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks. Corrected.

Medical information is almost impossible to get.

I overheard a very, very reliable source in the courthouse talking about this case (advantage of actually showing up to cover something).

The Juggernaut said...

What school is he from?

Larry Kelley said...

Don't know, other than he does not appear in UMass People Finder.

Schools attended is not something that normally appears in Public Documents.

UMass pulled strings to get the legal system to ascertain the schools attended by those arrested at Blarney Blowout.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he is from Willington, Connecticut and the irony is it appears he is a race car driver https://www.facebook.com/sean.foster.58

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how you knew, before the hearing, that a passenger was paralyzed. Isnt patient info confidential?

Anonymous said...

This is the type of accident all of our kids need to read about. If your friends are drunk don't get in the car with them. The drunk walks away. At least one of the passengers may never walk again. Such a waste.

Anonymous said...

If the Amherst schools wanted to help make a difference maybe they should have kids involved in these type of accidents give assemblies at schools. Both the drivers and the victims and show the pain, suffering, and long term affects. Certainly would be better than shock and awe racism assemblies. Probably more productive too.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing to say about such a tragedy except my heart goes out to the people involved, including the driver. Four lives changed forever because of youth and the sense of immortal certitude. To start out the school year with hopes and dreams, only to see such tragedy must rest terribly on all involved.

Anonymous said...

Yep, a UMASS student.

Anonymous said...

All great ideas but alcohol and peer pressure have ways of making even the smartest kids rather stupid.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the town should fork over $38k to have Calvin Terrell drive buses full of kids around speeding and scraping trees and stopping short of crashing to teach them that driving while impaired is dangerous. Then for lunch they can go down to the morgue and look at the bodies of people killed by drink drivers. Kids might enjoy that. Of course, parents need not be told of this adventure.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 12:08 PM

Not the same dude. Ages don't match up (or photos).

Anonymous said...

Nor does this kids driving skills. I would doubt anyone who drives a race car professional would disrespect the honor so much to drive drunk.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I think my 7-year-old could handle the road where the impact occurred.

Anonymous said...

We are all lucky to have survived those young years. If anyone on this blog tells me that they did not do something risky when young then they are either of two things; a liar or a dullard. Looking back it is amazing that I survived intact and hurt no one along the way.

This poor kid can't say that. He made a bad choice that will haunt him forever. No preventive effort would have changed this outcome. As long as there are kids and booze and drugs and, well, kids these things will happen every so often. It is a byproduct of a free society people. Ease up on the kid.

Anonymous said...

Just because it's a straightaway means little. Try driving it at night. Just before where you started recording is a left blind turn and a raise in the road level. Many people would over compensate just after such a twist. Add alcohol, music, and people talking to you and you have a recipe for disaster on a turn or a straightaway.

Anonymous said...

He is not from CT, he is not a UMass student, and the patient in the hospital is not paralyzed.

Dr. Ed said...

Anyone know if the Amherst DPW uses reflectorized paint? Usually it is a hot plastic goop sprayed onto the road with a covering of ground glass powder -- MassDOT usually uses this -- and it shows up at night.

Plain yellow paint (which this appears to be) does NOT show up and people see what they expect to see. If you think it is a curving road (which it had been before this) you EXPECT it to continue to curve.

Throw in the arrogance of someone who goes to court dressed like that, and I have almost no doubt that driver distraction would be part of this. Gotta wonder if he was on his cell phone at the time as well...

Did you get a BAC, Larry? Did they state how they determined intoxication on the scene?

Wish I had a nice car like that when I was 22, though....

Larry Kelley said...

I will be picking up the APD "Statement of Fact" at District Court tomorrow morning.

And that usually has the results of a BAC if indeed one was taken.

I can tell you I was standing only inches from the passenger window when a firefighter smashed it, and upon impact I got the distinct smell of alcohol emanating from the front seat.

Dr. Ed said...

Anyone down there have a white (as opposed to yellow) porch light? The Maine DOT and Maine State Police have been known to actually give people yellow light bulbs and ask them to please, please, please use it for their porch light because it gives the appearance of an oncoming vehicle. The Rabbi who heads (or headed) Chabaud house lives out on Rocky Hill Road and he used to have his Manora (?) out in a place where it really looked like an oncoming vehicle if you were headed West (towards Amherst)

A dark road at night, this is not hypothetical. The back road between Detroit and Corrina (ME) is the one in particular that I am thinking of.

And remember too that tired people hallucinate. SOBER tired people, probably worse when you throw in ETOH. He may have been dodging the pink elephant he saw in the road ahead of him...

Tired people hallucinating is so common that the US Army wrote about it in a training manual I once read. It's real -- and it's why you shouldn't drive when you are tired.

Dr. Ed said...

I was standing only inches from the passenger window when a firefighter smashed it, and upon impact I got the distinct smell of alcohol emanating from the front seat.

First, unless you had a medically necessary purpose for being that close --- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?!?!?

What if the firefighter slipped (it happens). What if the firefighter slipped and then was injured grabbing the axe that otherwise would have gone into your head?

If you'd been that close to any accident I was ever assisting with, you'd been moved. Not gently, either, I'm afraid -- when I'm trying to save someone's life, a different set of rules apply...

However, smelling alcohol does not mean that the driver was drunk.

First, am I the only person who has driven drunken folks home? I hauled people back from Smith College more than once, *I* was sober but no one else in my car was...

Second, bottles & cans burst open in an accident like this. Ever accidentally puncture an aluminum soda or beer can and have it spray all over you?

You gotta understand how much things fly around in a wreck, I've seen a carton of eggs in the rear hatchback area fly forward with eggs hitting both passengers and the front windshield. It wouldn't be hard for a driver to be soaked in beer (or other alcohol) and that doesn't mean he is drunk. Not after an accident like this...

So the vehicle smelled of alcohol. Fine, that's enough for the officer to ask some questions -- but I don't believe it is (in this circumstance) probable cause for an arrest...

Larry Kelley said...

Somehow I just knew you were going to say that. All of that.

I'm super careful at the scene of an accident (or fire) to stay out of the way of first responders.

Anonymous said...

A) Ed, be quiet!! You don't need to be "drunk" to be in violation of the law AND if you had any reading comprehension you would know what the BAC was greater than.

B) LK, be careful: you could be called as a material witness in the case if you make those types of observations!!!

Dr. Ed said...

You don't need to be "drunk" to be in violation of the law AND if you had any reading comprehension you would know what the BAC was greater than.

And if you had any reading comprehension, you'd understand that I think that the current law is asinine. As is the current approach of considering any trace of alcohol as the sole and exclusive cause of the accident.

If nothing else, driving with a .28 is a whole lot worse than driving with a .08, isn't it? Shouldn't it be a much more serious offense as well???

Something like 60% of the fatal accidents don't even meet that standard, and the victims are just as dead. I think we need to be a little bit more rational at how we look at this.

Show me lots of horrific crashes caused solely by .08 drivers and I'll believe the legitimacy of the current law. But facts matter and unless cops lie in court, the vast majority of serious crashes involve a BAC of .15 or above.

If this twit had been sober, then you'd be citing all the stuff I mentioned as likely causes of the accident -- well they stop being such when the driver is impaired?

Hint: "impaired" means "diminished in ability" == I'd think that all that stuff would become more relevant, not less...

But hey, I was just a "scoop & run" volunteer -- what do I know???

Anonymous said...

Larry stated that Umass pulled strings to get student associations during the Blarney party.

How about reporting on that corruption? Corrupt govt officials end up hurting more people than DUI's could ever hope to.....in fact one of the reasons we have so many DUI's has to do with corrupt public policy.

How about renaming the post, the price of bad public policy or the price of bad Massachusetts parenting....again.