It's one thing to get into a car accident because you were drunk, texting, talking on the phone, or playing with your radio dial. It's quite another to end up hitting another vehicle at a traffic light because you had a heart attack. That's what happened to 20-year-old mechanical engineering student Dan Langley, who was headed to his friend's house on April 1, and after the minor accident, got out of his car, vomited, and then collapsed. An officer who responded gave Langley CPR, and Langley ended up getting a defibrillator implanted in his chest.
Thank goodness no one else was injured in the accident and Langley (who doesn't remember the accident) was fine, too, but I can imagine he was beside himself when he returned home to find three tickets for tailgating, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, and reckless driving. What the ...?!
Talk about clueless. Did the officer who sent those tickets have absolutely no clue what happened? It sounds like it. When the Langleys appeared in court for the ticket -- yes, they had to endure all of this after already having to cope with the aftermath an incident that was stressful enough! -- Langley arrived in court with a note from his doctor, Dr. Harold Cotler, who believed the heart attack occurred before the accident, not vice-versa. The note read:
Please forgive Mr. Langley’s tickets due to his unfortunate experience of having a heart attack seconds prior to his car accident.
Ugh. The poor guy!! Given what he had been through and the fact that he had been hospitalized for 10 days was apparently enough for the court to show him mercy ... sort of. Two tickets were thrown out, but authorities chose to downgrade the third ticket from reckless driving to obstructing the passage of other vehicles, an offense that doesn't carry any points. Still, Langley had to pay a $133 fine.
His father, Chris Langley, had a brilliant response: "What's the charge? Criminal cardiac arrest?" For real!
Chris Langley went on to tell the local newspaper The Asbury Park Press:
We feel the system is just completely insensitive to something of this nature. How can you charge anyone with anything? Something’s wrong here, and it needs to be fixed. ... This could have been any family. This could have been anyone’s son.
It's not exactly news that Americans get disillusioned with government and law enforcement from time to time, and this is a perfect illustration WHY. There's no excuse for not being human about things like this. The tickets were obviously for actions Langley had no control over. Langley shouldn't have had to take that downgraded ticket or pay that fine. I'm with his dad on this one. Something's terribly wrong with this picture, and at the very least, the Langleys deserve a serious apology.
Do you feel like what happened here was absolutely ridiculous and heartless?