February 21, 2008

The Avilla Incident

If you've followed the story of the Avilla man, Duane Squire, who drove off county road 48 up in Dekalb, you know how sad it is. Squire was driving with his autistic grandson and they went off the road into a field. There were witnesses, the witnesses called it in, the police came but were unable to find the car. They stopped looking when a dispatcher waved them off. The 66 year old man lived through the crash, but passed away later. His autistic grandson spent 22 hours in the frigid car and survived.
A sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene at 2:57 p.m. and began asking a dispatcher for help in finding the crash and a description of the car.

The dispatcher called Monroe back for more information at 3:03 p.m., just as she and her husband were passing the crash scene again on their way back to Auburn.

“We see the car just off the corner of the woods back there,” Monroe said during her second conversation with the dispatcher. Watching from C.R. 48, Monroe said she also could see a sheriff deputy’s car to the south on C.R. 19. She and her husband tried to guide the search, telling the dispatcher that the wrecked car was directly west of the deputy’s car.

Monroe and her husband accurately described the car as a dark blue, older model, four-door Oldsmobile or Pontiac.

As Monroe continued trying to help officers spot the wrecked car, one of the sheriff’s deputies broke in on his radio.

“I spoke to a Garrett (police) unit,” the deputy said. “The people that are back there have permission to be back there.

“No 10-50,” the deputy said, using the police radio code for a traffic accident. “They went back there on purpose.”

The dispatcher relayed the deputy’s message to Monroe.

“They didn’t wreck. They had permission to go out there. They’ve driven off the road on purpose,” the dispatcher told her.

Monroe did not accept the explanation.

“Several of us pulled off the road because we thought it was an accident,” she told the dispatcher. “He flew off the road at a high rate of speed ... no brakes applied or anything.”
Just one further note from the article:

Two deputies who abandoned the search for Squire’s crash are “devastated by it, because they’re very dedicated officers who work very hard,” said DeKalb County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jay Oberholtzer.

People can't be human and not make mistakes... for all the Police, Fire, and Emergency Workers -- you all don't get enough praise and I hope your personal lives are filled with family and church enough to help you cope with the images you see and when things go wrong.

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