Monday, September 19, 2005 May Be Jumping the Gun on This One

Yes, I am well aware of the now infamous Jimmy John’s incident which took place this past Saturday evening in which a van swerved to avoid hitting a pedestrian head-on, quite possibly a student, and crashed into the entry way of the campus restaurant, injuring a number of patrons. As tragic as this occurrence may be, I do not feel the obligation to report on the basis that it has already been covered extensively on other websites and since I was not there in person when it happened, I would prefer to wait on hearing the findings from the Department of Public Safety at Marquette University and rescue services before I draw any conclusions as to what occurred.

I however believe that I feel to report, if only this once, on this incident because I view’s assumption that alcohol was somehow involved in the accident may be a bit presumptuous on their part. When first reported evidence of a beer can at the scene of the accident from the accounts of the restaurant’s manager and several employees, the beer can was inside the restaurant. However when the website reported the same account later that afternoon, the beer can was inside the car. I am a bit confused as to what to believe, though I can only assume that this is a bit of a miscommunication among operators of the site and not a factual error. What I can state for a fact though is that may be a little quick in this instance to draw a conclusion to something that does not exist.

First, there is no report from either DPS or the rescue emergency services indicating that the man or woman, I am not sure on this one, was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Secondly, seeing as how this is the city of Milwaukee and we live essentially next door to the Miller Brewing Co. bottling plant, so its existence on campus should come as no surprise to veteran students of the university. Third, there was no indication that the beer can actually belonged to the driver of the vehicle which slammed into the Jimmy John’s restaurant that evening. For all we know it could have been there before the time of the accident (I sincerely doubt that any employees or patrons of the restaurant would have noticed a beer can prior to the accident lying either on the street or in front of the restaurant), days even, and may have flown into the restaurant at the time of the impact. This is a college campus after all, so I would not find it surprising to see beer cans lying around the streets of Marquette University, particularly on a weekend, without so much a solitary individuals taking much noted interest in it before an accident occurred. And lastly, themselves report that a breathalyzer test taken on the driver reportedly came up negative, thus eliminating the conclusion that he was intoxicated to the point of being unable to functionally drive a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. If there was an indication at the time that he/she was intoxicated, the driver would certainly have been brought in for questioning, which, as far as I know, did not happen.

I am not saying that it is not a possibility. What I am saying however is that if we are to believe that DPS and the emergency rescue services performed their jobs adequately and responded to the accident properly, there would have at least been an indication of such a conclusion. As of now I have heard no such claim from either DPS or the Milwaukee Police Department. Driving under the influence is rather a serious charge in my mind to be throwing around, so I would suggest that we at least wait until official evidence comes to light before we begin accusing someone who may have simply swerved to avoid hitting a student of being drunk behind the wheel.