July 28, 2011
A Norfolk, Virginia, police officer who fatally injured a bicyclist a year ago was fined and sentenced to community service on Friday, July 22.
The accident occurred around 1 a.m. on July 25, 2010, when Officer Derek Folston was speeding to reach a non-emergency call and struck a bicyclist on the 1500 block of Brambleton Avenue. The collision caused the cyclist severe injuries from which he died two months later.
Fox43TV.com reports that the bicyclist had a blood alcohol level of .20 when he was hit.
Folston and another officer in a separate cruiser had both been speeding to reach the Tidewater Gardens area over the Campostella Bridge. Court records revealed that neither had lights or sirens turned on, and Folston admitted to driving 20 miles over the speed limit. Both officers have been on administrative duty since the accident.
Convicted earlier this month of misdemeanor reckless driving, Folston was fined $1,000, sentenced to 100 hours of community service, and had his license suspended for 60 days. Judge Jerrauld C. Jones suspended a six-month jail sentence, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
Do you think police should be required to turn on their lights and sirens if speeding toward a destination? Should punishment be less for them when they cause fatalities while on-duty?