It sounds like a twisted question because we live in a country where we’re brought up to believe that “fairness” is an unalienable right — even though we don’t hear about it in the United States Constitution. But how many of us can say that we live in a fair world? How many of us can really argue that fairness is even possible? When you sue the government, you’re not being compensated by an organization — you’re being compensated by the individuals who fund it, i.e. you and me.
A Phoenix fire department was recently sued after a fire truck collided with a pickup truck near Bethany Home Road/29th Ave., killing three of the pickups passengers: Kenneth Collins, 20; Dariana Serrano,19. An infant was also killed.
Sara Collins said, “We don’t get to have them in our lives anymore. Chase was a good father. She was a good mother. They had good hearts.”
Investigators were able to obtain surveillance video of the accident in order to conclude that no one was to blame for the collision. They did note, however, that the speed of the fire truck was partly to blame. The driver had it going at about 61 miles per hour at the time of impact. This was over the speed limit. The fire truck was blaring its sirens and lights.
According to fire truck Engineer Paul Kalkbrenner, he thought “he was within the fire department’s standard procedures of 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.”
But he was going 20 miles per hour over the posted limit, which was 40 mph, according to investigators.
Relatives of the deceased have filed a whopping $25 million lawsuit based on wrongful death.
It’s understandable that the victims are angry and confused, and place blame on an engineer who was apparently disobeying standard operating procedures. But the city and the court will have to balance what the family deserves — in all fairness — with the greater good. $25 million in city resources pulled away from other projects already in dire need of funding could result in more deaths down the road.
New technology is available to provide drivers with no excuse for not following standard operating procedure regarding the speed limit, and should be implemented to reduce such incidents. In the meantime, drivers who fail to do their job should be punished through termination or criminal charges. Families whose friends and loved ones have passed away due to these broken procedures deserve to be compensated — but in the confines of a system that only allows so much.