Unlicensed Allston woman and pal charged with fatal Back Bay crash

UPDATE update: Not charged, as authorities try to figure out who was really driving.

UPDATE, Tuesday a.m.: Ghuzlan Alghazali will be arraigned this morning in Boston Municipal Court on two counts of motor vehicle homicide, one count of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and one count of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

WCVB reports the unlicensed woman was charged with the crash that killed a Brookline couple walking down Beacon Street while her friend was charged with telling police he was actually the driver.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Troubling all around.

By on

Troubling all around. Sympathy to the loved ones of the victims.

up
19

Makes U wonder about all

By on

Makes U wonder about all those other crazy drivers on MA roads. Are the unlicensed? Are the mentally ill? Are they drunk? Slow the hell down! Don't drive drunk or without a license!

up
25

Given what goes on

By on

on our roadways, it's not paranoid to wonder about who is driving impaired, distracted, unlicensed and/or uninsured.

up
38

Apparently in order for this

By on

Apparently in order for this to be considered a felony the driver needs to have been under the influence of drugs/alcohol and be operating recklessly/negligently. If this was without the influence of drugs/alcohol it's a misdemeanor with a maximum of 2.5 years in jail.

I'm guessing...

By on

And it's a total guess, but wouldn't the car have to be going faster than the 30mph speed limit to flip and crash the way it did? If so, then I'd also guess that would be considered reckless driving.

Put the driver in the slammer

By on

Put the driver in the slammer for 8 years, It will be a lesson for the rest of the driving public, "an example" if you get caught driving in a reckless manner and it results in a death of a human being lockem up for max 8 years , this guy was unlicensed if I were the Judge I'd givem an extra 2 years total of 10 years behind bars..Judges have to be assholes and give these scumbags the max..

up
18

The sad truth is

By on

It wasn't murder. Unless you can prove that there was an intent to kill, or even injure.

It's manslaughter, or at least it seems that way.

But yeah, get into a fight with someone, then kill them with your car, and you will be charged with murder.

up
15

Vice and Freakonomics recently covered this topic

Good reads and some very glaring statistics.

http://freakonomics.com/2014/05/01/the-perfect-crime-a-new-freakonomics-...

http://www.vice.com/read/you-can-kill-anyone-you-want-with-your-car-as-l...

Just 5 percent of the New York drivers who are involved in a fatal crash with a pedestrian are arrested.

A May 2014 report from the League of American Bicyclists reads, “We don’t know much about the consequences of most crashes that result in bicyclist fatality.” Based on incomplete data, the report estimates, “Nationally, 45 percent of fatal cyclist crashes had some indication of a potential enforcement action; 21 percent had evidence of a likely charge; [and] 12 percent resulted in a sentence.” Put another way, killing a cyclist with a car was effectively legal in more than seven of every eight cases.

up
25

Incomplete Info

By on

How can we draw a conclusion from this information if we don't have correlating information about charges in fatal crashes with other cars/trucks? Or the rate of charged bicycle fatalities in other states or countries? If every state in the US and every country in the world agrees that accidents are not crimes, then all you've presented is a reminder to drive and ride safely, which is what everybody should be doing anyway.

Stop using the word accident...

It implies that no one was at fault and it was unavoidable. They are incidents and someones reckless/inattentive/aggressive driving caused either injury or death, which is a crime.

The problem is people like you just want to sweep it under the rug and say "oh well this is not typical" or "oh it was only an accident, nothing you can do" despite the fact that 45,000+ Americans will die as the result of car crashes this year. We have a culture that encourages reckless driving due to lack of enforcement and lack of prosecution for those that cause injury and death.

You do have a point with incomplete data, we are not seeing the full picture. But when the data for cars killing pedestrians shows you that only 5% of the cases result in arrests in NYC, you should be left scratching your head and saying "why is that?" 95% of those cases were just "accidents?"

Hell, look to the several cyclists deaths in Boston over the past few years, many which included hit and runs from drivers that pass too close or large trucks that could not make turns legally. Is that an accident in your book?

People should be driving and riding safely but they don't. Glossing over it and saying "oh well, that was an accident" does nothing to change these scofflaw attitudes. Weak enforcement and prosecution is the reason we have licensed drivers with with multiple DUIs. Maybe they just "accidentally" drove drunk and caused a crash.

up
20

Think It Through

By on

But when the data for cars killing pedestrians shows you that only 5% of the cases result in arrests in NYC, you should be left scratching your head and saying "why is that?" 95% of those cases were just "accidents?"

Ok, let's use a different phrase. It means that 95% of these cases weren't crimes. Take a look at fatal industrical accidents (not my term, by the way, the Massachusetts agency that investigates them is called the Department of Industrial Accidents) sometime. They all involve some kind of human error along the way, whether it's a failure to check equipment, a failure to use caution around it, etc. Yet in my experience the number of these events considered criminal acts is even lower than 5%. In fact, I would put it at less than 1%. So the question becomes, "99.5% of these cases were not crimes?'"

And the answer is yes. Why? Because no one intended for them to happen, and everyone recognizes that, well, accidents do happen. This doesn't mean "99.5% of these cases don't matter" or "99.5% of these cases aren't tragedies." It doesn't even mean that "99.5% of these cases were completely unavoidable." It means that in 99.5% of these cases, the culpability required in a system of justice based largely on intentional conduct was not present, just as your data seem to suggest about bicycle fatalities in New York, and possibly car fatalities in every state in the country.

Obviously this is different from your comparison to someone who accidentally drinks and drives. That is an intentional choice made in violation of a law that everyone who drives is aware of. And I don't think you are suggesting that any one would intentionally choose to drive into a bicycle, car, or any other thing except under specific and very likely criminal circumstances.

Stop being obtuse

You're not comparing relevant statistics when you go from incidents that occur on public roads that are regulated by laws to industrial accidents at private businesses bound by some laws but also through safety procedures. You are simply trying to build up a straw man to easily knock over.

That is an intentional choice made in violation of a law that everyone who drives is aware of.

Is it so hard to understand that if an incident occurs, someone is at fault? These things don't just happen for no reason on the road, there is an action and a reaction. Someone needed to run a red or fail to yield/signal or was tailgating and couldn't stop quickly enough or someone jay walked or passed a cyclist too closely. All of these involve one or multiple people not following the law, which guess what, is a crime. Just because they didn't mean to cause an incident, cause damage or death, doesn't mean that you get to say there was no crime.

And as for people using their car, bike or whatever to intentionally cause harm, yes I would suggest that that does in fact happen and in many cases does not result in prosecution. I hear people say "oh I'm worried about hitting that cyclist because I have such little space to pass" and yet they still pass within inches of the cyclist, sometimes actually hitting the cyclist. Thats not a willful and intentional violation of the law? Or is that just an accident because they didn't mean to?

up
15

private businesses bound by

By on

private businesses bound by some laws but also through safety procedures

Now you're being obtuse. A crime is a crime, and an accident is an accident, and it doesn't matter whether it's on a road or at a job site. The standard of evidence and burden of proof are the same in both places, which is probably why embezzlers in "private businesses" and why someone who runs a red light and kills someone are both arrested. It's not a straw man. It's the law of the land.

And, guess what, "violating the law" is not necessarily a crime. Going 65 mph on a 55 mph highway is a violation of the speed limit, and thus against the law, but it has a civil penalty. Want to see that change? Want the penalties for traffic violations to carry jail time? Great -- write your state rep.

You're trolling at this point

And, guess what, "violating the law" is not necessarily a crime.

Ok you're really struggling to make a concrete point here. Speeding is a crime and if you get caught, you should and will hopefully received a civil penalty like a fine or license suspension (ha yeah right) relative to previous incidents. But what about when you're speeding results in other cars being hit, pedestrians and cyclists being maimed/killed, property being damaged, you go from a civil penalty to a criminal penalty. Often that criminal penalty is never applied, as evidenced by cases from NYC and even here in Boston because people like you would rather paint them as unavoidable accidents instead of what they really are: intentionally reckless driving that causes damage and/or death.

I'd certainly like certain traffic violations to carry jailtime, limited to those that you know, cause death and or injury due to reckless driving. You want to paint me as someone that advocates for putting people in jail for simply running a red light, someone that doesn't believe in due process? Please, get out of here with that garbage.

"the word accident... implies

By on

"the word accident... implies that no one was at fault and it was unavoidable"

No it doesn't. It merely implies it wasn't intentional.

Spin o rama is your accurate user name

...despite the fact that 45,000+ Americans will die as the result of car crashes this year.

Crash*Stat: Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2013 (DOT HS 812 024), A statistical projection of traffic fatalities shows that an estimated 32,850 people died in motor vehicle traf¬fic crashes in 2013. This represents a decrease of about 2.1 percent as compared to the 33,561 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2012

See also:

NHTSA/NCSA Report: Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities: The Decline for Six Years in a Row from 2005 to 2011 (DOT HS 812 034), For six years in a row, the overall number of motor vehicle fatalities in the United States declined, from 43,510 in 2005 to 32,367 in 2011, a drop of 26 percent. During this time period, the number of passenger car (PC) occupant fatalities declined every year, from 18,512 in 2005 to 11,981 in 2011, a drop of 35 percent, and the number of light truck/van (LTV) occupant fatalities declined every year, from 13,037 in 2005 to 9,272 in 2011, a drop of 29 percent. This report examines data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Passenger vehicles (PVs) consist of PCs and LTVs.

True, I quoted incorrect numbers

Fair enough Markky, I will concede that factual inaccuracy. Fact checking is key when using data to make a point.

But did you have an actual point to make beyond that inaccuracy? Your quoted numbers only reference occupant fatalities. What about non-occupants like pedestrians and cyclists?

You quote a 26, 29 and 35% drops, which sounds great when quoted with larger numbers but when you look at pedestrian and cyclist deaths, they are not dropping as rapidly as the automobile numbers. Talk about spin.

up
11

The lesson is

People are better protected in an ever improving steel cage with mandated anti-lock brakes, traction-control, stability control, crumple zones, seat belts, and air bags than as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcycle rider. Transport mode is your informed personal choice.

Woman driver

All the reports I heard before the charges were announce said the driver was a woman and I think I read one report saying the driver is a woman.

Oh no--didn't you read the WCVB comments?

By on

They're all illegal alien Muslim terrorists!

Honestly...this incident is maddening and tragic but it's horrifying how quickly some people lunge gleefully for the race/religion/ethnicity card.

up
25

Seriously

By on

Nobody knows what happened yet....maybe she had a seizure while driving....yet everyone is so quick to judge by the fact that they have foreign sounding names.

Saudis? BTW how does a person

By on

Saudis? BTW how does a person own a motor vehicle without having a license? I really seems like having a license is optional in MA, after all of these tragic stories of innocent people killed by criminal drivers who face minimal consequences for their actions.

up
15

Avoidance

By on

I know this will draw unpleasantness. It seems everyone (the media and posters too) is dancing around this subject. What is the immigration status of the driver? Never mind the unlicensed aspect of this. Concrete answers only please.

up
17

Where's a concrete answer to your question

By on

Who gives a fuck. Legal, illegal, two people died and everyone wants to turn it into an immigration issue, or a rally to cut down on motor vehicle deaths (which is obviously a great goal, but they're already at the lowest rate in history).

up
14

I'm pretty sure

By on

...it's an inside joke for Wingo Nation, but it's also a really good way to quickly identify comments that probably aren't going to be worth reading. .

up
12

You're off base

It's not a crime to be here illegally.

That's not controversial -- Congress deliberated and created laws that make it a crime to enter the country without a visa or to lie on a visa application, but chose not to make it a crime simply to be here illegally, e.g., by coming on a valid tourist visa and overstaying.

You can argue with Congress about this if you want, but the law is 100% clear: being here illegally is of course illegal, in the same sense that mailing your tax form late is illegal, or building your house too close to the lot line is illegal, but it is not a crime.

tell us..

By on

what's your immigration status? you've really been dancing around it.

her/their status is 100% irrelevant at this point.
this is about unlicensed, reckless driving, not immigration.

up
29

Way to get a completely

By on

Way to get a completely idiotic jab at the governor in there! Bravo, Sir.

up
12

And?

By on

...which have nothing to do with the situation at hand, and are therefore a non sequitur that make you look like you have some sort of weird fixation on the man and are trying to score political points in a really horrifying place. So, again: bravo, sir.

up
15

Just how on earth do you

By on

Just how on earth do you "score" political points on a message board? You might not care that our elected "leaders" don't care about law enforcement and public safety but I do.

FYI for those wondering about

By on

FYI for those wondering about scoring points: strawman arguments like "You might not care that our elected 'leaders' don't care about law enforcement and public safety but I do" are an automatic deduction.

Actually, there is only one

By on

Actually, there is only one "Islamic" country that bans women from driving, but technically it's not officially banned by law, they just won't issue them liscences and it has to do with other laws their such as personal status laws. It is slowly changing though.

up
10

Put to death

By on

...which was given the "send it to study" kiss of death yesterday:
The Glob

No doubt incidents like this do not help the issue. Oddly, that doesn't seem to work for other issues such as mass shootings, vehicular homicide by licensed, drunk and/or distracted and/or asshole drivers, etc...