Dr. Fogg & Sir Daniel presents..

Losing Matthew

In Daniels articles on September 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Losing Matthew

our children are our future, in them we place our hopes and dreams, we nervously send them off to college so they can make a place of their own in society.   We know that they, and their children, will take this world after we die and hopefully improve it.   When a child is born, we watch over them so carefully, protecting them, providing their every need because inside their eyes, we see a little bit of ourselves..

how would I, someone who has never had children,  know?  you don’t have to be a parent to understand the wonderful blessings of parenthood. 

so the worse imaginable thing that can happen to any parent is to outlive their children.   A little of us dies with them..

On April 27 2007, in the sleepy Waterbury suburb of Prospect, Connecticut, Stephen and Joanne Kenney received the phone call that changed their lives forever.   Their son, Matthew, only 14, was riding his bicycle on Route 69 when he was hit by a car.

It was serious.   Matthew was taken to the hospital and it was discovered he had suffered severe head and internal injuries, broken bones and lacerations. He was declared brain dead the next day.

The man who hit him was no stranger to the police, 48 year old David Weaving had five drunken driving arrests since the late 1990s on his record, four of which resulted in convictions.  However on this day he was not drinking although he was passing another car at about 83 mph in a 45-mph zone when “out of no where Matthew rode in his path”.

The road conditions were foggy, it was early morning and it had just rained.

In David Weavings testimony, he claimed that Matthew and his friends were jumping their bicycles off a ramp at the end of a driveway and he just “appeared” right in front of his car and there was nothing he could do.. however, in 2008 a jury convicted him of manslaughter and gave him 10 years in prison.   Soon after this conviction, Matthew’s parents sued him in local courts, accusing Mr. Weavings of negligence and seeking more than $15,000 in damages..

In America, regardless who we are or how much money we have, we have the right to “counter-sue” someone who we feel has caused us wrong and are suing us..  We see it all the time on “Court TV” and “Judge Judy” where the defendant sues the plaintiff in the very same trial..  so with this in mind, it seems that David Weavings is well in his constitutional rights to counter-sue the Kenneys.  however that doesn’t make it right.

In his counter-suit, David Weavings is claiming he has endured “great mental and emotional pain and suffering,” wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and the loss of his “capacity to carry on in life’s activities.”  He is suing the Kenneys for exactly the same amount of money in damages..  he also wrote that had the Kenneys “complied with the responsibilities of a parent and guardian and the laws of this state and not allowed their son to ride his bicycle without a helmet and to play out in the middle of Rt. 69 … this incident and Matthew’s death would not have happened.”

Joanne Kenney was horrified to see the counter-suit, “I just think it’s crazy that they have the ability to do this behind bars,” she said. “I think inmates have too many rights. They’re the ones who committed the crimes, not us. And we’re the ones who suffer more.”

It’s rare, and most suits like this are thrown out of court..  one of the most recent cases I can find is when Michael Dupree, serving a 12-year sentence for burglary and cocaine possession, allegedly stole a bicycle and was apprehended after the owner, Anthony McKoy, saw him with the bike down the street.  Dupree says McKoy and two others pointed a gun at him, handcuffed him and placed a knee painfully in his back. He’s seeking $500,000 for disabilities and distress suffered during the take-down.

Should we take away an inmates rights once they are locked up?  Is our justice system 100 percent without fault that we will never lock up the wrong person?  If what Mr. Weaving said, that there was no way he could have avoided hitting Matthew, is right.. then is not Mr. Weaving paying a heavy price for “an accident” that was not of his doing?

As for me… I do not for even a second agree with his counter-suit, the Kenneys have lost a child forever while he has just lost 10 years of his life..  and allowing him to attempt to throw the responsibility at the parents is just wrong..  David Weaving was the one driving the car, when we sit behind the wheel we know other people’s lives depend on what we do.

IN another case, this year where I live a vacationing family from the UK was walking on the beach when a little 4 year old Ellie Bland broke away from her Great-Uncles grip and ran into the path of an oncoming car.   There were plenty of witnesses but none that could act quick enough.   The little girl died, sadly, and the driver of the car was not charged with anything.  I know every day for the rest of her life she will see that body under her car and know it’s because of something she did that caused such grief.

Accidents do happen, I’ve been in enough of them myself lately..  however when we drive we need to pay attention to the side of the road and watch for children.   In both of these cases, I believe had the drivers seen the child then the tragedies could have been prevented.

I can’t imagine the horror of loosing a child but to be sued by the man who sat behind the wheel??  Such lawsuits, directed at the victims parents, should never see the light of day.

To Matthew’s parents, I hope you can see past this man’s attempts to blame you for allowing your son to act like a kid.   To David Weaving, do your time and take back your stupid lawsuit.  In 8 years you will be free while they will still mourn the loss of their future.

~ Daniel

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