• U.S.

Transport: Wilful Neglect

1 minute read

Driving a dilapidated truck one day last summer, Negro Riley Tennyson remarked to the owner, a New York City roofing contractor named Isadore Rauch: ”You better have those brakes fixed or you’ll be getting into trouble,” Contractor Rauch replied that he could not afford to. Last August, Contractor Rauch ordered Negro Louis Washington to make a delivery in the truck. Driver Washington lost control of it in Jamaica, could not stop until after he had run down and killed Mrs. Katherine Brown, a 57-year-old Negro.

Last week Driver Washington and Owner Rauch stood in Queens County Court accused by the State of being equally responsible for her death. In previous cases it had never been possible to pin wilful negligence on the owner or prove that he knew his truck was defective. This time it took the jury only three hours to set a precedent by convicting both men of second-degree manslaughter. Remarked the judge, deferring sentence: “This verdict may save the lives of many people.”

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