Erin BrownShe probably thought she was doing the right thing. When 21-year-old Erin Brown was too wasted to drive her Toyota Scion home after a night out on the town, she gave the keys to her boyfriend, Trevor Bradshaw. Which would’ve been a responsible decision, except he was drunk too — and ended up hitting and killing two pedestrians as he swerved through the streets of Nashville. That’s tragic in and of itself.
But prosecutors are now dusting off a rarely used law to charge Brown with vehicular homicide right along with her man, citing that anyone who knowingly hands over their keys to an intoxicated person is just as liable for any damages as the individual behind the wheel. Now she’s facing 30 years in jail because she wasn’t astute enough in her drunkenness to realize that her boo was too tipsy to drive.
So what we’re basically saying here is that it was up to Brown to discern how far gone Bradshaw was rather than it being up to him to admit that he was too stewed to play chauffeur. Under that line of thinking, it must be a mugging victim’s fault for wearing a super snazzy handbag and tempting a renegade thief to steal it.
The sad fallout from their bad decision-making means two young men are now dead: Michael Brooksher, 22, and Tommy Allen, 23. The best friends both suffered injuries that killed them shortly after they were plowed down at 2:30 in the morning back in December. If the D.A.’s office has its way, this incident will also claim the lives of two more young people, with Brown and Bradshaw serving three decades behind bars, which puts them darn near in their golden years by the time they get out if they serve full sentences.
I’m not saying break out the violins and sad movie music for either of them, especially him. How many high school health classes and bad after school specials does someone have sit through before they get the message that driving drunk, bad; calling taxi, good? But I do think that, barring any idiotic new developments that confirm she was well aware of how inebriated her man actually was, prosecutors are trying — unnecessarily — to make an example out of her.
There are a lot of laws on the books that we all could be slapped with and long suffering because of. In New Jersey, cabbage can't be sold on Sunday, and in Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave. Yet we’re footloose and fancy-free when it comes to those rules. My point is, there are oodles of stupid, silly, downright foolish regulations that we don’t honor or observe. Why crank up this one?
Is Brown just as accountable as her boyfriend for the deaths?