Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vehicular Homicide Acquittal in Spokane

Clifford Helm's truck crossed the median and struck a car, killing five children and injuring one adult. Not long after, the family -- Mennonites -- said that they forgave him and didn't want him to be prosecuted. The Spokane County prosecutor did prosecute him, pointing to evidence that he had used a cell phone briefly before the crash. The defense suggested that he might have fainted because of a coughing fit. On Friday, a jury acquitted him.

The jury forewoman, Rebecca Backstrom, said it was a long, emotional trial. When asked if she believed Helm fainted before the crash, she said the prosecution didn’t prove that he hadn’t.

She added: “I hope both families are at peace.”
Helm Acquitted of Vehicular Homicide, Spokesman Review, March 15, 2008.

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