Saturday, July 25, 2009

1 year ago today

Day of remembrance for two young girls killed in hit-and-run

Saturday will be a day of remembrance for two Louisville families whose young girls were killed in a hit-and-run crash. This comes as the family has filed a civil lawsuit against the suspect.

This civil lawsuit now includes the names of state employees. But current law says those employees aren't subject to these kinds of lawsuits. Sarah Lawrence, one victim's mother, said on Friday, "Although their lives were brief, they were very joyful children that brought each and every one of us joy and happiness."

Saturday marks one year since a vehicle struck four-year-old Riley Lawrence, five-year-old Claudia Wadlington, and Wadlington's mother as they crossed a street on the edge of the University of Louisville campus.

I thought that was a powerful picture the first time I saw it and now a year later it still is. Recently I came to learn more about it from one of the victims mothers:

The shoe picture... that was my daughter's shoe. They'd just been bought two weeks prior. They were too big, but after being in flip flops all summer she kept telling me everything she tried on was "too tight." I saw the picture the night she was killed, I don't remember if it was on the television or on the internet. The shoe was not far from the crosswalk where they were hit. Where Riley ended up is another story. I've been meaning to take/post a picture to show people just how far he threw her. 65 mph, two children and a mommy in his sight and he never slowed down, never swerved and didn't stop. Freaking animal.

Anyway, nice to meet you, and please keep blogging about the case. Anything we can do to keep people informed and keep the case in the public eye will help with our eventual goal of changing this state's messed up parole system.

Take care,

I just cannot imagine. The families are in my thoughts today.

Broken parole system

Families in wrongful death ready to take on sovereign immunity

July 25 marks the one-year anniversary of the day two little girls were run down by a speeding car while crossing the street near the University of Louisville's Belknap Campus. Several days ago, WAVE 3 first reported the parole officer of the man driving the speeding car had been added to a wrongful death lawsuit. Friday, the girls' families explained why.

It is a difficult anniversary for the families of 4-year-old Riley Lawrence and 5-year old Claudia Wadlington. They say the decision to add the parole officer and his supervisors in the wrongful death suit comes to get some answers. The parents believe key mistakes were made that allowed a convicted felon back on the streets and despite sovereign immunity that would protect the probation officer; they are willing to take the issue as far as they can.

As the parents sat in court behind Kenielle Finch, the man prosecutors say ran down Riley and Claudia as the crossed Floyd Street near the UofL Natatorium, it became the most difficult hearing yet coming one year after the girl's deaths.

"I think today, we're more emotional than we normally would be," said Sarah Lawrence, Riley's mother. "It's never easy and it's always very difficult and unsettling to be in the presence of someone who's caused us to lose so much."

The families and their civil attorney, John DeCamillis, explained why they added Allen George, Finch's parole officer, and two of his supervisors to their wrongful death lawsuit.

"If there's any case that I have ever in my 20 years come across that should motivate someone to find out what happened, it's this case," said DeCamillis.

Despite sovereign immunity, which makes local government immune from lawsuits like this, the suit claims the parole officers had a legal duty to supervise Finch, who had a history of trafficking drugs and running from police.

"He should have not been out the streets," DeCamillis said. "He had nine subsequent arrests after being paroled the last time and there was ample opportunity to keep him behind bars."

So how many arrests do you get before your parole is revoked exactly?

California has a plan to release 27,000 inmates to ease their budget problems and I sure hope Kentucky doesn't try the same thing.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

There is just no end to this tragedy

Lawrence and Waddlington families still being exploited one year after death of daughters

It is not the first time that someone has tried to profit from someone else’s tragedy, but this is beyond the pale.

Next month will mark one year since two little girls were killed by a hit and run driver as they walked to a swim lesson at the University of Louisville.

Now there is word that someone has used their social security numbers to get a tax refund.

I hope when they are caught its not some bullshit fine from the IRS but serious federal prison time.