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Phoenix Press Helicopter Crash Craziness July 28, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in The Press.

phoenix choppers


FITSNews – July 28, 2007 – The fact that two press helicopters collided in mid-air in the skies over Phoenix today is an unmistakeable tragedy. All four people aboard the two choppers were killed, and it goes without saying that their families, friends and colleagues deserve our sympathy and our prayers right now. Unfortunately, though, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris is turning this horrific accident into a classic case of law enforcement overreaching. In discussing the suspect whose police chase precipitated the aerial disaster, Harris said:

“I believe you will want to talk to investigators but I think he will be held responsible for any of the deaths from this tragedy.”

Say what? Look, we’ve got no problem with Chief Harris throwing the book at this guy for whatever crimes he may have committed on the ground, but unless at some point during the pursuit this suspect threw a rock hundreds of feet into the air and caused these two helicopters to swerve into each other, it’s not his fault that they crashed.



1. Daniel - July 28, 2007

If you commit a felony, and somebody dies in the process, you’re screwed if their injury was “foreseeable.”

This situation is probably too tenuous, but it’s not that far-fetched.

2. Wilson - July 28, 2007

nah…these guy were not obligated to be there. They chose to be there without obligation, ie policeman/fireman/or bystander that was in area and could not flee.

3. Believe It Not - July 28, 2007

Daniel is right!
Will is wrong!
Wilson is a ball.
Nothing new about that.

“These guys” were at work. Doing their job. They were obligated to be there. Their employer required them to be there. But, why they were there is not relevant.

Will, if you feel sorry for the criminal send him a card to express your compassion for his suffering and misfortune. Frankly, we hope they nail the book to the kitchen sink before they throw it at him.

P.S. Our quiz on your earlier post would have bumped the hit count on that one by 25% at least. Your call. 😉 How’s the beach?

4. Silence Dogood - July 28, 2007

Daniel is correct on the felony murder rule that exists in most states. However, this death had nothing to due with the deaths that occurred in or because of the felony or the intervening chase. How the suspect fled or that fact that he was fleeing put these persons in no greater danger their their own negligent flying normally would have. Unless this guy was fleeing in a aircraft and some how messed up there flight lanes. The Chief is stating the ‘normal’ rule, but these chopers were effectively not involved in the chase within the “forseeable” zone of danger for some one who was fleeing on the ground. Even for instance a police “warning shot” if allowed in the jurisdiction that was not negigently fired that hit one of the chopers would have potentially created felony murder liability for the suspect, but this example does not.

5. Syd - July 28, 2007

i rarely agree with W (except maybe on fantasy baseball) but he’s so right on this. What did this criminal have to do with two NEWS agency’s decisions to put the public in danger by covering a car chase? TV news is one endangering lives for no other reason than they are simply in pursuit of ratings. The only reason TV news covers car chases is because the producers are hoping…nay, they’re PRAYING…that the car will flip and someone will die on camera so they can tease to their 11 Oclock newscast with that footage and call it “exclusive.”

It’s just lucky that no one on the ground was killed. but if there had been, it’s the TV station’s overzealous thirst for ratings that would be to blame, not the criminal. And that cop ought to shut the fuck up.

6. Corey - July 28, 2007

Today I left my keys in the door of my car as I went into a restaurant and when I went out to get them a police officer was waiting– someone had called them about it. The officer told me that had my car been stolen I would have been held accountable for “aiding and abetting a crime” and, presumably, any subsequent crimes the vehicle was involved in. I kind of raised my eyebrows at that one.

I don’t think the driver should be charged with the death of the helicopter crews. It’s not the driver’s fault that we crave sensational news and the pilots were, as I understand it and as long as they didn’t work for the same station, competing for the coverage.

However, if you watch enough “World’s Scariest Police Chases” often they do follow ups and you find the drivers rarely are charged with everything they could/should be charged with and generally don’t spend years and years and years behind bars.

7. Daniel - July 29, 2007

Wilson – wow, I hope you’re not a lawyer.

Silence – I agree, I think the link is way to tenuous in this case for liability.

Everyone else – learn to recognize the difference between what the law is and what you think it should be.

8. Earl Capps - July 29, 2007

What I would like to know is what in the world was so unique about this chase that required them to conduct themselves so recklessly. These days, how many chases do we see how many times a day, and on how many channels.

If it’d been me up there, I’d have said “f*** it, looks like one we saw last week” and gone home.

Sometimes, all being number one means is first to hit the ground.

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