Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Death of a Cowboy

Saturday night was a tragic one for the Dallas Cowboys.

College friends and Cowboys teammates Josh Brent and Jerry Brown were out for a night of drinking when Brent made the decision to get behind the wheel of his Mercedes. Shortly after that, they were in a single-vehicle accident and the car flipped over. Brent was able to escape without injury, but Brown remained trapped inside the burning vehicle.

When witnesses came upon the scene, Brent seemed confused, wandering aimlessly. One witness, Stacee McWilliams, claims that when she heard Brown calling for help from inside the car, she had to "coerce" Brent into trying to free him.  McWilliams says she's come forward with the story because she wants the world to know "Josh Brent is not a hero."

Well ... Ms. McWilliams's statement is being challenged, too. Another witness claims she didn't hear McWilliams say anything to Brent about rescuing his friend. It turns out McWilliams had been drinking, too, celebrating her birthday. So both of them weren't thinking straight that night ...

Josh Brent is free on $500,000 bail but intoxication manslaughter have been laid. Manslaughter is always considered a less culpable crime than murder, but Brent is still facing up to twenty years in jail.

If there's anything even remotely positive about this story, it's that Jerry Brown's family are saints. His mother insisted Brent sit with them at her son's memorial. She says Josh and Jerry were like brothers and that we all do "stupid" things when we're young. Of course ... there's stupid and then there's, well, intoxication manslaughter.

But she's right. It was stupid to get into that car drunk. It's way too easy for one Saturday night of fun to turn into a living hell. So with the holiday season upon us and partying par for the course, remember that between 30-40% of all traffic fatalities still involve a drunk driver.  So leave the keys at home. Call a cab. Or bring some great walking shoes.

(More on the story here.)