Quite Possibly the Dumbest Person Ever

March 25, 2010

I like to keep things breezy here at My Two Cents, but every once in a while you see something that just makes your blood boil, something that demands comment.

Like today.

Last week, Erica Blizzard was found guilty of negligent homicide in a 2008 boating accident on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. She plowed into an island at a high rate of speed in the middle of a dark, foggy June night, killing passenger (and best friend) Stephanie Beaudoin; Erica herself suffered serious, life-threatening injuries that required multiple surgeries and caused several delays to the start of the trial. (Full disclosure: Erica and I went to high school together – she was a year ahead of me – but I didn’t know her well.)

The trial lasted nearly two weeks, and I followed the progress of the case online. Prosecutors alleged that Erica’s blood alcohol content registered .15 – nearly twice the legal limit – two full hours after the crash, and that she was piloting the boat at or above 31 MPH when she hit the island. For those of you not familiar with boats, 31 MPH is damn fast, especially on a night with near-zero visibility.

The defense brought in its own experts to challenge these figures. The strategy must have worked, for while the jury agreed to a finding of negligent homicide, it hung on the issue of whether or not Erica was intoxicated. (Given the circumstances of the accident, it’s difficult for me to see how anyone could reasonably conclude that she wasn’t intoxicated, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Anyway, the jury returned its verdict on March 18, and Erica was released on bail to await her sentencing on April 21. On March 19 – one day after she was found guilty of negligently killing her best friend – she was cited for driving 84 MPH down a NH interstate while punching numbers into her cellphone. The officer who flagged her down noted that Erica was not paying attention and very nearly ran him over.

Really? I mean, really? To say nothing of the inherent stupidity of driving recklessly while you’re a) out on bail and b) awaiting sentencing for a separate crime, this really seems to hammer home the fact that Erica has learned absolutely nothing from her role in a tragic event that would have irrevocably changed most other people forever.

I used to wonder why Erica didn’t just plead guilty at the outset and take full responsibility for ending the life of someone she loved. I guess I don’t wonder about that anymore.

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One Response to “Quite Possibly the Dumbest Person Ever”

  1. kaleethompson Says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Jen. I had the same reaction. I appreciate hearing a lawyer (even a former one) suggest that someone guilty might just, uh, plead guilty.

    Anyway, on a lighter note, is “Olive” your nickname or your actual name? I’m reading that novel Olive Kitteridge right now and have simultaneously noticed some parents screaming “Olive” in my neighborhood. And of course there’s the wonderful Olive Oyl!


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