Billy Lane, who killed a scooter-rider in a head-on collision about three and a half years ago, has been spending his days fixing motor pool cars at the Avon Park Work Camp in Florida since he was incarcerated there.
Lane, 39, was a celebrity chopper builder who was sentenced in August to six years for vehicular homicide. He pulled into an oncoming lane in a no-pass zone on Sept. 4, 2006, in order to pass some slow vehicles, and ran head-on into a park ranger who was riding a 1983 Yamaha scooter. The ranger, Gerald Morelock, 56, died.
Morelock’s family settled a wrongful death suit against Lane in 2007.
At his sentencing, Lane said his decision to make the illegal pass that killed Morelock was "the single most irresponsible decision" of his life.
"I was in the wrong lane of traffic, and I killed Gerry Morelock with a 7,000 pound truck, and he was on a motor scooter … my actions caused his death, and I feel responsible for that," he said.
Lane’s sentence included three years of probation and a lifetime driving prohibition, as well as drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Police said Lane’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit when the crash occurred. At the time, his driver’s licence was suspended. A secondary law suit was filed against Daimler-Chrysler, which provided the truck to Lane in a promotional effort.
I’ve never read anywhere about the ranger who also had a blood alcohol content while on the way home from work on his scooter not a motorcycle. If I saw a truck comeing at me head on in my lane and I was on my Harley i would have headed into the ditch instead of the truck. Two drunk people hitting each other should have been a no fault. Just like when two sober people hit each others cars in a parkinl lot. He paid the price so let him be. It’s over.
Not only did Chrysler supply a truck they did it for their corporate gain, ie promotion. This is another level beyond borrowing a truck to a friend. Chrysler likely is also held to a higher standard than most people since they have a building full of lawyers to review these things before they happen.
So if I loan my truck to a buddy, (knowing he has a suspended license for a previous DUI), and he goes out, gets drunk and kills someone, – do you really think I should not be held (even in the slightest way) liable?
Chrysler wasn’t sued because they built the truck – they were sued because they owned it and gave Billy the keys.
Anyway, I have no intention of retrying this case in a website comments section – we don’t have any of the facts – I was simply pointing out that there could be a valid reason for a lawsuit that wasn’t mentioned in the short news item shown.
If Chrysler is to get sued because they provided the truck, perhaps Goodyear and Esso should also be sued since without their products the truck would have been unable to move and therefore cause the accident. How about the government since they paved the road in such a way that you can drive fast enough to need to pass OR if that fails because they didnt make sufficient passing lanes.
Come on now, the real reason for Chrysler to get sued is that they have the deepest pockets and therfore the most liekly to provide a huge settlement.
“Why sue the Chrysler? Did they do the driving? Just another example of our ridiculous litigious society.”
I can think of a couple of valid reasons for a lawsuit: 1, their insurance would have been the one to cover the accident, and 2, they supplied a truck to a man with a suspended license (did they know about it?)
Why sue the Chrysler? Did they do the driving? Just another example of our ridiculous litigious society.
Feels responsible? He *IS* responsible. There’s more than a mere semantic difference between the two.
Poor guy to bad he did not live in B.C. then he could have got off scott free! Sorry I forgot he is not a cop, only they can run over motorcyclist and get away with it.