Raquel Cobb was in a hurry to get home before dark with her three children, so when she got off the bus she started directly across the road to her apartment, rather than walking the three blocks to a sidewalk. While crossing the street her 4 year old son was killed and she and one of her daughters were slightly injured in a hit-and-run.
The driver of the van was later captured, admitted to being on pain medication and drinking prior to the accident, pleaded guilty and served 6 months. Yes, 6 whole months. Despite having been convicted in 1997 for the same crime. Despite killing a 4 year old. He's now out on probation.
As if that weren't bad enough, the Prosecutor's Office decided to charge Raquel with homicide by vehicle, jaywalking, and reckless conduct. She was convicted. The possible sentence being 36 months in prison, some might consider her lucky that the judge only gave her community service and 12 months probation. The judge also did one unusual thing, she offered Raquel a new trial. Seems Raquel didn't get a fair trial, not one of the jurors had ever had to rely on public transportation. She has taken the judge up on the offer and will be re-tried. If acquitted, her record will be expunged.
I have had to rely on public transportation and cannot imagine doing so while carrying shopping and managing three small children. Raquel was not the only jaywalker from that bus, which indicates that probably the city should have put a crosswalk there or moved the bus stop. Either way, she lost a child and should have been left alone to grieve, not subject to the legal system. Hopefully, the new trial will have a more just outcome. And the person who thought pressing those charges a good idea will be given the opportunity to find more fitting work.