You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Every attorney has their share of “war stories,” most so strange that “you can’t make this stuff up.” Here are two of mine. Both stories are true.

The Supersonic Car

My client had received a motor vehicle summons for failing to stop and yield at a stop sign which resulted in an accident. When I asked him what happened, he told me he had stopped his car at the stop sign before making a right turn. He said he looked but did not see any other cars. When he pulled out to make a right turn, his car was struck by another car coming down the road. In reviewing his story, I noted that the other car either materialized from nowhere or must have been there and either he did not look or if he did look, he failed to see it. He agreed that the law of physics as we know them ruled out the car materializing from nowhere. Instead he insisted that the other car had to have been speeding.

Being familiar with the intersection, I looked at the tax map and determined the sight distance. Using the time that he told me between when he looked until the accident occurred, I did some quick calculations and determined the speed that the other car would have had to been traveling. I told him, “Mr. P, if your story is true, the other car would have been traveling over 600 miles per hour!” Without missing a beat, he turned to me and said, “See, I told you he was speeding!” After I explained to him that no car could travel that fast, he agreed and we worked out a plea arrangement with the municipal court prosecutor.

Speeding: Yes-Cell Phone: No

Another client was charged with driving 91 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Worse, he did this while driving on twisty country roads. When I asked him if he was really speeding so fast, he told me that I needed to hear his side as to why. He told me he was employed at a store and was driving home after the store closed. He said another car began following him and having heard stories about gang members following cars and then shooting the drivers, he said he was scared for his life had no choice other than to speed more than twice the posted speed limit. I asked him if he was so scared for his life, then why didn’t he use his cell phone and call 911? He replied. “But it is illegal to use a cell phone while you are driving.” I guess he didn’t realize that driving twice the posted speed limit is also illegal and a lot more dangerous.

You can’t make this stuff up!

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