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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Talk about major reckless driving

This story came from WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio. The lady in this article was so busy talking on her cell phone that she missed a school bus with it's warning lights on and the stop sign out. I think that should have been obvious. Apparently that phone call must have been extrenely important. The article reads like this:

OREGON -- One day after the death of 5-year-old Dameatrius McCreary, Oregon Police have filed charges against the driver accused of hitting him. Late Friday, prosecutors filed aggravated vehicular homicide against Angelique Dipman.

The crash happened Thursday afternoon around 5:30pm in the 2700th block of Starr Avenue in Oregon. Police say a school bus stopped, with warning lights on and stop sign out, to let McCreary off the bus. Ohio laws require drivers to stop, but police say 27-year-old Dipman drove past the bus, and hit McCreary, throwing him several feet into the air.

McCreary was taken by helicopter to The Toledo Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Officers told us they released Dipman at the scene, but Dipman turned herself in on Friday after receiving word that the charge had been filed.

"My prayers go out to the family," said Dipman as she was led into police headquarters by her attorney. When asked what happened, she reiterated, "I have no other comment other than my prayers go out to the family."

Police believe Dipman was on her cell phone at the time of the accident which may have distracted her. "You just don't drive by a stopped school bus with the lights flashing unless there is some distraction in some shape or form," said Oregon Police Chief Tom Gulch. The mother of Dameatrius, Sandra TenEyck, agreed by saying "This woman was on a cell phone. She didn't stop for a bus that had its stop sign out. I mean you have to see that. There's no way."

News 11 checked Dipman's driving record and found her license has been suspended twice. She also has been cited for speeding 4 times, going 84 in a 55mph zone in Clay Center, 70 and 71 in a 55mph zone in Perrysburg; and 51 in a 35mph zone in Northwood. Oregon Police say Dipman was not speeding yesterday and her license was valid.

The family of the victim says this tragedy has to send a message about drivers near school buses. "This should not be happening to a kid, getting off a school bus from school. They're supposed to be safe. You expect people to obey the laws and unfortunately, they don't and this is what happens," said Colleen Gamble, Dameatrius's grandmother. Chief Gulch agreed, saying, "There's nothing more imperative for drivers than to realize a stopped school bus means children are present and our obligation is to preserve those kids lives."

Dipman was released on a supervised bond on Friday afternoon. She will appear Tuesday morning for an arraignment in Oregon Municipal Court. Count on News 11 to stay on top of this story.

Updated by AEB

Come on, a school bus with the lights on and the stop sign out should be fairly obvious. But, that is what happens when drivers talk on their cell phones while driving. Unfortunately, this lady had been ticketed before and did not learn her lesson. It Is even more unfortunate for the family that lost their son.


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