A man who was already convicted of killing one police officer in a head-on 2004 crash is under arrest for leading police on a high-speed chase through Citrus Heights, according to reports.
Scott St. Pierre is in police custody and is suspected of starting a high-speed chase that reached speeds of 80 miles per hour down Madison Avenue. The pursuit ended in a four-vehicle crash.
St. Pierre was wanted on a felony charge for trafficking drugs. Officers claim that when approached he sped off without headlights and put other drivers at risk. The wreck occurred at Auburn Boulevard near Winding Way when St. Pierre slammed into three vehicles. Even after police removed him from the vehicle, he fled the scene on foot, ultimately being apprehended with the help of a K-9 officer. Police said that it appeared that St. Pierre was impaired while driving. He is also accused of narrowly missing a bicyclist.
This was not St. Pierre’s first exposure to drunk driving or fleeing from police. In 2004, St. Pierre was convicted of the death of Jerry Walker, a correctional officer. That accident took place just three hours after his release from jail on a DUI charge. Officers later discovered that his license was suspended at the time of the crash.
Fortunately, no one was killed in this latest accident, but it does highlight the apparent inability of the system to keep a dangerous driver behind bars.
Early Release Can Result in More Danger on the Roads
Recent changes at both the state and national level have resulted in many prisoners being released early. While this may be necessary to conform to prison realignment standards, it means that there may be dangerous people on the roads, including those who have already been convicted of drunk driving, speeding and other crimes.
Your chances of being injured or killed in a car accident in California are greater than in some other locations. According to data from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 2,995 people killed and 226,544 people injured in car crashes in 2012 in California. By way of comparison, the national statistics for that year are 33,561 deaths and about 3 million injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This means that nine percent of all fatalities and eight percent of all injuries nationwide occurred in California. About twelve percent of all people in the United States live in California.
However, it is not the sheer number of accidents but the type of accidents that makes California such a dangerous place to drive. In large urban areas like Los Angeles, up to half of all accidents involve unlicensed drivers who may commit hit-and-run or drive under the influence of alcohol. On weekends, the chances of being hit by an unlicensed driver may be better than those of being hit by someone with insurance.
What Can I Do To Protect Myself and My Family?
Driving safely and defensively is the best protection you can give yourself and your family. Teach your children to wear seatbelts at all times and to watch for cars when crossing a street or riding a bike.
However, even if you are very careful, you may find that you or a member of your family suffers from another driver’s actions. If this is the case, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation including payment of medical bills, sums for pain and suffering and even lost wages while you are out of work due to your accident. A personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation even if the other driver is uninsured or unlicensed.