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Court upholds motor-vehicle homicide convictions for man who drove into Newton pizza place, killing two

The Globe reports the Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld Bradford Casler's convictions for the 2016 Sweet Tomatoes crash.

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Comments

My brother has MS and this case has stuck with me.

I can't make him do anything. He's an adult and a stubborn one, especially when it comes to his physicality (I don't think he's ever fully accepted his disease). The day someone even suggests he isn't allowed to drive himself is going to break another part of him. He already suffers from bipolar disorder (likely secondary to the MS) and in the past he has self-medicated with alcohol.

I constantly fear one day asking myself "Could I have said or done something sooner?" because I know even if I had it won't change a thing but I'll still feel remorse and guilt anyways. I just hope nobody else is effected when that day comes.

As for Casler, I can't project my brother onto him, but I get it. He's older than my brother and has spent even more of his life without any of the current treatments that seem to be doing a decent, if not complete, job at keeping the immune system more in check. He didn't lose control suddenly in that car. He probably knew he shouldn't have gotten in the car that day. MS patients get pretty good at reading when their body is having issues on any given day. He has to live with his actions and all of the lives he's effected. Hell, he's already past his jail sentence and is just arguing over parole? Fuck him. He should be glad it's just parole.

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Voting closed 48

It is revoked as long as he is on probation.

It should be revoked for life.

Considering his driving history before he killed these two people, it probably should already have been revoked. And these two lives spared.

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Voting closed 38

The RMV would have suspended his license for the next 15 year or so irrespective of probation. He claims that's the reason why he shouldn't get probation since he won't drive regardless.

To quote Kaz above, fuck him.

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Voting closed 30

… revoking driver’s licenses or following up on cases. Maybe he’s counting on that.
The public needs all the protection from this scofflaw it can get. I’m glad the court is providing what it can.
It would not surprise me if this arrogant driver decides he’ll get behind the wheel again, license or not.

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Voting closed 20

Clearly people who are inclined to do illegal things aren't stymied by the lack of a valid drivers license. I dream of a day where cars do some sort of verification on the validity of the driver's license before starting.

It's only a matter of time before smartphones replace car keys this would make it easy to match the phone's owner with a check of a valid license database.

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Sorry, if I gave that impression.

Until smartphones replace car keys, I hope the Newton police will be keeping an eye out for him, in case he does think he can get away with driving without a license.

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I can lock, unlock, and start my car with my phone. BMW has had this for a while now. Good luck getting MA to provide the ability to tie the virtual key into the DMV though.

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Perfect example of cars mattering more than people in Massachusetts and America. A driver who brutally killed 2 people and injured others will be able to legally drive again. Unbelievable.

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If his MS is relapsing/progressive, in 15 years he won't likely be able to pass the driving test.

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Family can't do it alone.

In many states a doctor can have a patient's license yanked with a quick report. MA is not one of those states.

If people were required to submit a medical clearance every five years at renewal, nobody in particular would be singled out, but it could take some truly impaired drivers off the road. It would also get people to pay attention to chronic illnesses that could lead to the kinds of "sudden medical emergencies" that are actually preventable.

We had a neighbor who was a horrifically impaired driver and neither his doctor nor the police couldn't get his license taken away. He ended up crashing his car into a stone wall and being told by a mechanic that it wasn't repairable. When nobody would let him test drive a vehicle in his clearly impaired state, that was what finally forced his kids to step in and us neighbors to get him to accept our help.

Put simply, it was a miracle that he didn't kill anyone (he came close - repeatedly!). It shouldn't have happened the way that it did.

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Voting closed 21

https://www.mass.gov/doc/request-for-medical-evaluation/download

And the good thing about this is that the doctor or law enforcement officer doesn't have to name the family member who brings this to their attention (for those family members who often become shunned by the driver for various reasons after being reported). It is signed under penalties of perjury.

I've seen doctors and police fill this form out about 20 or so times and the license got revoked for 100% of those cases. I'm not so sure about the appeal process though, as the driver has the right to appeal under ch. 90 s. 8 and Ch. 26. s.8a

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Voting closed 22

That's interesting.
What where the circumstances under which you've seen this form filled out and were aware of the revocations?

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I don't have high confidence that the RMV or MA judges will be able to revoke many licenses preemptively, because there's too much resistance to it. I think the best we can hope for is restricting unsafe drivers from operating SUVs, pickup trucks, or any vehicle larger than a subcompact. Just that would mitigate the danger to bystanders by at least 50%.

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Voting closed 7

If people were required to submit a medical clearance every five years at renewal, nobody in particular would be singled out, but it could take some truly impaired drivers off the road. It would also get people to pay attention to chronic illnesses that could lead to the kinds of "sudden medical emergencies" that are actually preventable.

I fully support revoking licenses for impaired drivers but something like that seems to be setting up a lot of poor people who already struggle with medical access for failure. Unless the RMV is going to run these evaluations themselves out of their offices.

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Voting closed 3

What percentage of people over 16 have driver's licenses? And are physically qualified to drive? It's the majority, but it's not 100%, and we shouldn't leave these people stuck at home. Outside of a few core urban areas, non-car transportation is pretty bad in Massachusetts.

Most parts of Newton are pretty good with sidewalks, better than some other suburbs. But transit is abysmal to non-existent outside of a small radius of each Green Line D stop. Many residential areas are way beyond walking distance of a corner store, and zoning doesn't help. And Route 9 is a giant wall.

Other states are much better at providing transit and sidewalks in all populated areas. Who is going to step up and change the system here?

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His defense was his medical condition and that's what most of the comments address. However, it was also brought forth in the trial that he
-had been in three other accidents in the previous decade (unknown if he claimed they were medically related)
-was speeding at the time of the accident and
-was on his cell phone at the time of the accident.

I believe (though I'm not certain) the relevance of the court prohibiting him from driving for 15 years despite the RMV suspending his license anyhow, is the former prohibits him from being licensed in any other state. I believe with an RMV suspension, if he can find a state which doesn't ask about his driving history, he could become legally licensed again. It also eliminates the ability of the RMV to reinstate his license on appeal.

I'm not familiar with the "Request for Medical Evaluation" mentioned above, but I know as a matter of law in Mass., someone who has had a seizure loses their license and cannot get it back until they are seizure-free for one year. There are some limited situations where this can be successfully appealed.

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Voting closed 4