Drunk driver gets 12 years for killing bicyclist in Dorchester

A Dorchester man who admitted he was drunk when he took the life of a teenager waiting to cross the street with his bicycle was sentenced today to 12 years in state prison, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Gregory McCoy, 27, pleaded guilty to manslaughter while operating under the influence, leaving the scene of a collision causing death, and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury for the death of Fritz Philogene, 18.

According to the DA's office:

Had the case proceeded to trial, Assistant District Attorney Gregory Henning would have introduced evidence and testimony to prove that McCoy was driving a friend’s 2012 Cadillac CTS at a high rate of speed in a residential area as he approached the intersection of Norwell Street and Talbot Avenue on the night of May 19, 2015. The Cadillac slammed into the rear of a BMW stopped at a red light, sending both vehicles careening through the intersection just before 10:10 pm.

Philogene, who was at the corner with his bicycle and apparently waiting to cross the street, was struck and died at the scene. Henning would have proven that Philogene’s fatal injuries came as a result of McCoy’s actions.

The crash also injured the 33-year-old driver of the BMW and McCoy’s passenger, a 26-year-old Quincy man who owned the Cadillac.

The evidence would also have shown that McCoy extricated himself from the badly-damaged Cadillac and fled the scene on foot, leaving a blood trail from the vehicle’s final resting point to his neighborhood.

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Drivers in the incident at Beacon and Mass ave and the woman run down on Putnam ave need to be charged and sentenced to jail, too.

Enough of this "but I didn't knowwwwwwww" get out of negligent homicide for free bullshit.

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And judge

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Can you prove every other driver was negligent or are you just spewing bias garble.

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Wow

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You've got someone sentenced to jail before they've even been charged. Wow.

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Okay then

They need to be charged with killing another human with a giant machine and pretending not to notice that they killed someone to get away with their dangerous driving.

Better?

We also need to kill that loophole where killing is okay if you don't bother to notice that you killed or pretend that you didn't notice that you annihilated another human being. You drive it? You are fucking responsible for where it goes. Period.

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No she hasn't.

Because she's an internet commentator and not a one-person judge and jury, and thus has no legal authority whatsoever.

I understand our legal system is complicated, but really.

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Did you hear that in the case

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Did you hear that in the case in Cambridge, the car door was already open and the bicyclist ran into it? I'm not victim blaming either, just saying that the facts should come out before judging. In this case, he obviously got time he deserved.

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Actually, it is.

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The DA came out and said yesterday that the cyclist left the sidewalk, turned and hit the door, which was already opened. But, of course, the bike zealots will ignore facts to fit their worldview.

Face it. Cyclists make mistakes (just like car drivers) which may or may not cost them their lives.

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kind of

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How long can the door be open before it's the cyclist's responsibility, not the motorist's? 5 seconds? 15? 600?

I'm a cyclist, and I think motorists should be held responsible for dooring. But if a car is legally parked and the door is open (say, fastening or unfastening a child in the back seat) and a cyclist comes along later and runs into it, at some point it's no longer a "dooring" and is instead a "biking"...

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no, you are rationalizing your selfish needs above safety

I doubt that you wander the world with two car seats in a random witless manner. You know when errands take you somewhere that parallel parking is required. Arrange your car sensibly, and take the time to crawl in the backseat to lock up your kids. If it is too difficult, then invest in off street parking. If you open a door into a traffic lane, the risk and the responsibility are 100% yours.

its no different then jaywalking with a stroller.

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I'm trying to not call you a name right now.

But it is clear that you don't have kids, or any one who might have special needs that needs assistance. Either way you can't drag a baby across a back seat, especially when it is my legal right to step out of my car, and open my door when it is safe to do so. If my door is open and you recklessly hit my door with a bike, your body, a wheelchair, or a battle axe, you are at fault.

Bottom line, I have the right to open my door on the roadside, and thankfully there are laws to protect me from people like you.

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That's nice, Nice

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You do understand that if a car plows into you and your kid, you will be dead, too.

Your right to open a door ends where it impacts other people.

That said, you realize that vulnerable road user laws protect YOU when YOU are getting a kid out of a seat, right?

Right?

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it is not safe to leave them open for any period of time.

I am not advocating that adults drivers crawl out the passenger side for heaven's sake. It is unsafe to open a door into a traffic lane and leave it open for any reason. And yes, if you are holding a baby, that is neglectful. I am sure that it is challenging and inconvenient to work from sidewalk side, but it is absolutely necessary.

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it is not a legal right.

And it would be equally selfish to drag a baby across a backseat. Sure people do it all the time, like jaywalking, but it is not safe or an entitlement.

You are right that to observe that it would be wrong to hit someone just because they were in the way, but that does not make the obstructionist actions legal.

There is no law to protect you from opening your door on the roadside. It is stupid and selfish, but the penalty should not be death. But it is your choice and your responsibility. I do believe that if you can't stop your vehicle (or bicycle) fast enough to prevent hitting an unexpected obstruction, then you are going too fast for the setting.

Like all rules of safety, it was not meant to be convenient.

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There is no law on the books.

And you can read the entire chapter 90 of the MA general laws if you want, which says I can't open a car door while parked when it is safe to do so. And again, that's really my only point.

I've always used the sidewalk side to get my kids out, even when here were two of them back there. But if my elderly mother or special needs child needed assistance, I might use the roadside door if it was safe. If a cyclist comes flying along and can't stop for me, too bad because again, it is my legal right to do so.

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Don't twist the law around.

Again, show me where the law says it is my fault if a cyclist hits my car door. (That's different than opening a door into traffic)

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Don't Bother

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This guy is an ex-cop. He thinks the laws are what he says they are or what is convenient for him.

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First off insurance surchages are 211 CMR 74+, not 711 CMR

Second of all, those are not laws, they are insurance fault standards. Motor vehicle laws are outlined in Chapter 90 of the Mass general laws.

Also, you forgot to leave out this pretty important section of the insurance regs:

The following Standards of Fault shall be considered determinative that an Operator of a Private Passenger Motor Vehicle was more than 50% at fault for an accident, unless a showing
to the contrary is demonstrated by the evidence presented in the course of review of the at fault accident

source: 211 CMR 74.04

The actual law is the following:
M.G.L 90 s.14 states:

No person shall open a door on a motor vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so without interfering with the movement of other traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Whoever violates the preceding sentence shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.

And yea, I was reading the page, where no laws were cited, just the same insurance regulation that someone already pointed out was not a law of the road.

Again, show me the law which says you are legally responsible if someone hits your car door with a bike like you claimed.

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The door was already opened.

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He/she did not open it while the bike was passing hitting the cyclist. The cyclist did not have time to react to a door that was already fully opened. That is not the driver's fault, mplo.

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Opened or Opening

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As the law's written, it doesn't matter when the door opening happened, the driver is still at fault.

From the previous link:

(18) Opened or Opening Vehicle Door(s). The operator of a vehicle subject to the Safe Driver Insurance Plan shall be presumed to be more than 50% at fault when the vehicle's door or doors are opened or opening resulting in a collision with another vehicle.

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Scope of that Link

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You are correct that it does not matter when the door was opened under that regulation, but that regulation only pertains to the Safe Driver Insurance Plan. It could be used as evidence in a civil or criminal suit, but would not control the issue of fault.

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That is a bizarre way of thinking about it.

cars have doors on the other side you know. It may be awkward, but it means that there is no circumstance where you are entitled to have door open into a traffic lane.

Not that I will be surprised at how far people will go to rationalize that the poor driver has been punished enough by the trauma of killing someone.

Look at the original post. The guy got off pretty easy in exchange for an innocent life.

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Timing Matters

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If the door had been open for 10 seconds and the bicyclist rode into it, we would probably say the bicyclist was at fault.

If the door was opened one second before the bicyclist arrived, we would probably say the driver was at fault.

In both cases, the bicyclist could be said to have hit a door that was already opened. Fault is not determined by that fact alone.

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Let him sit and think about

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Let him sit and think about what he did. Stop others from making these careless mistakes

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