Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day Tragedy

My sister-in-law received some extremely sad news yesterday so we've been spending the past couple of days following a story unfolding in Florida. She was partly raised by a daycare provider who had a daughter her age. Apparently, this daycare provider and her husband were killed in an "accident" in Florida on Christmas day. The woman's parents were also in the car. The stepfather, driver, will likely survive, but his wife is in a coma.

Upon first reading about the "accident" a conclusion could be drawn that the man who rear-ended them going 70 miles an hour in a pick-up truck while they sat waiting for a red light must have been drunk. I mean, why else would anyone do something like that at a major intersection. Not only did he rearend the Tahoe, but after it spun around out in the middle of the intersection he hit it again! Accident?? Unlikely.

Today, these details were released about the man who caused this "accident":

Just a month ago, Belniak, 34, completed probation following a 17-month prison stint for a drug conviction. In 2003, he was pulled over in New Port Richey on a suspicion of drunken driving, and authorities found a gallon of GHB, known as the date-rape drug, in his Mustang. He pleaded no contest to trafficking the drug and was sentenced to two years in prison and a two-year suspension of his driver's license.

In 2002, he was arrested in Hernando County on a charge of DUI. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a misdemeanor, and paid a fine.

In addition he has numerous speeding tickets on his record: 75 mph in a 45 mph zone in 1990; 56 mph in a 30 mph zone in 1994; 91 mph in a 45 mph zone in 1995. His most recent ticket was in September.

In 1994, he struck a pedestrian on U.S. 19 near Fivay Road. The woman died but Belniak was not charged.

The clincher? It appears this man was driving with a valid license. I sure hope this is a major embarrassment for the state of Florida! I am completely dumbfounded that this man was driving legally after everything I've read above. If you ask me, this looks like homicide to me!

I ask today for your prayers for this family in Connecticut. The couple has three grown children who had to receive this news on Christmas day.

UPDATE: My sister-in-law just informed me that they shut off the life support for the grandmother, whose brain had swelled and apparently separated, left from right hemisphere. She has also passed. Please, again, remember this family in your prayers, and pray for justice for them.


A- Truckers- Wife said...

oh my goodness! How aweful!!!You have to wonder why the state would even allow someone with his record back on the road. What a messed up world we live in. I will keep them in prayer. It's hard no matter what but seems worse when it happens on the holidays.

ARC said...

Thank you very much for your comments and for posting this story. I am the son-in-law of the 2 individuals that were killed in the car accident. We are absolutely in shock still and are appalled that this man is still walking the streets in Florida.

deanna said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My sister-in-law is a friend of Melanie's (Jackie), and we are also appalled and shocked that this man has had no charges brought against him. How is that even possible???

Even in a true accident someone would be culpable, but for some unbelievable reason this man is allowed to roam free? Repeating this same offensive act. How many times will he kill before they lock him up and throw away, at the very least, his car keys??? Makes me afraid to even vacation in Florida.

We continue to uplift your family in our prayers and hope for some resolution in this case.