St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock made a terrible choice in the wee hours of April 29th, choosing to get into his SUV and drive after becoming thoroughly intoxicated. He could have easily hired a cab — or limo — to take him wherever he wished to go, but Hancock insisted upon driving himself drunkenly down the highway, where he crashed into the back of a tow truck that was assisting a stalled car on I-64. His blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit, he was not wearing a seatbelt, he was speeding, and he was talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash.
Hancock’s father, the executor of his estate, was not content to let his son’s violent and unnecessary death be a lesson to the world. Rather than channeling his grief for a cause — say, speaking out against the dangers of drunk driving — Dean Hancock has chosen to file suit in some perverted hope of spreading the burden of responsibility to others.
The owner and manager of the restaurant where Josh Hancock imbibed before his fatal drive, the tow truck company, the tow truck driver, and most incredibly, the driver of the stalled car have all been named as defendants in Dean Hancock’s lawsuit, which alleges negligence on the part of the restaurant that served him drinks, negligence on the part of the tow truck driver in parking his vehicle behind the stalled car, and negligence on the part of the driver (!) for “allowing the vehicle to reach the point where it stalled on the highway, and for failing to move it out of the way of oncoming traffic”. The elder Hancock said in a statement that he has “an obligation to represent the family on all issues, ‘including any legal actions necessary against those who contributed to the untimely and unnecessary death.’”
Dean, I’m terribly sorry that your son is dead. You’re going to have to endure that for the rest of your life. I do not believe any parent should ever have to bury a child, and it’s tragic that you’ve had to suffer through this. Bearing that in mind:
Dean Hancock, you are a pathetic excuse for a father and for a man. Sack up and admit to yourself that your son made a terrible and fatal choice, and that no one held a gun to his head and said, “Drink this alcohol.” No one held a gun to his head and said, “Drive this car.” If your son hadn’t been blitzed out of his mind, perhaps he would have noticed the disabled vehicle and the tow truck behind it with its flashing lights. Perhaps he would have worn a seatbelt. Your son — not the restaurant owner, not the restaurant manager, not the tow truck driver, and certainly not the driver of the disabled vehicle — made those choices. Now you have to live with them. No one asked you to be happy about it, but your attempt to shift responsibility for this terrible tragedy is misguided, morally wrong, and utterly reprehensible. You owe an apology to all the defendants, and you should drop your lawsuit immediately before a judge laughs you out of court.
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