Two Teenagers Are Dead And It Was No "Accident"
You've got to love criminal defense attorneys. Just like kids, they often say the darndest things!
About 9:30 p.m. on June 3, 18-year-old Talhia Heroux was driving through an intersection in Ashwaubenon. Talhia's friend, 18-year-old Ashley Britsch-Knetzger was a passenger in the car.
According to authorities, 45-year-old Anrietta "Monique" Geske, driving a Porsche Boxster, was apparently drag racing with another car while heading southbound on South Oneida Street. Geske's vehicle, going well in excess of 80 miles an hour (in a 30 mile per hour zone), allegedly blew through a red light and broadsided Talhia's car. At least one witness says that Geske made no attempt to stop at the light.
Both Talhia and Ashley were killed almost instantly. Geske sustained only minor injuries.
It gets better.
A preliminary breath test showed that Geske had a 0.086 percent blood-alcohol concentration (slightly over the 0.08 legal limit for intoxication in Wisconsin). Geske's brother says that she suffers from bipolar disorder and that he doesn't believe "she was in a state of mind to be driving a car at the time of the crash, let alone drag racing".
Geske has been charged with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and one count of first degree reckless endangerment.
Geske's attorney Jerome Buting told the press yesterday that there "has been a rush to judgment to make conclusions" and that "alcohol will not be the cause of what happened". According to Buting, "This is a terrible tragedy and I feel for the families of the victims, but all too often the community rushes to judgement and believes that anytime someone dies in an accident it becomes a criminal offense."
Where do I start?
Obviously, Geske is entitled to a fair trial and, at least in the courtroom, also entitled to the presumption of innocence. Additionally, I can understand why it may be a challenge for prosecutors to prove that it was Geske's alcohol intake caused the deaths of these two teenagers.
That said, this was no "accident".
When you have a few drinks, get behind the wheel of a car, drag race down the street at a speed more appropriate for a racetrack, blow through a red light and hit a car - the result can be described in many ways. However, It is most definitely not "an accident" and is most definitely a crime.
I don't know how the legal proceedings will turn out. I do know though that two young people are dead because of the irresponsible behavior of another - and that things like this happen way too often.
I also know that this was no accident!