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Charlie Davies accident update

The Post's Metro reporting staff tells the Insider that.....

The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Va., is overseeing a criminal investigation into Ashley Roberta's death in the crash that injured U.S. soccer player Charlie Davies last fall, federal law enforcement officials said. The officials, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said no charges are imminent and no decision has been made on whether to file them. Any charges would be federal because the George Washington Parkway, where the accident occurred, runs through federal land.

Davies suffered severe injuries in the early-morning, one-car crash in October. After numerous operations and months of rehabilitation, he recently returned to France to rejoin his club, Sochaux, and hopes to play again soon. He remains a candidate for a spot on the 23-man World Cup squad.

The driver of the vehicle was treated and released. She has not been identified by U.S. Park Police, which oversaw the investigation. In December, The Post broke the story about the driver's condition at the time of the incident and details of the crash.

By Steve Goff  |  March 2, 2010; 9:44 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

* crickets *

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Ok, never mind

Posted by: Steve Goff | March 2, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

And Gene Wells loses it in his pants in 3...2...1...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 2, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey, has anyone heard when the white or red jerseys will go on sale? I wanna take a look at those before I pull the trigger on that Chuck Deezy shirt.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 2, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

If she was intoxicated, she should be charged. And it has to be illegal to fiddle with your GPS while driving. VA has a law about "failing to pay attention". I would assume the federal code does too.

Prosecute her.

Posted by: chemweapon | March 2, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

@SG -- I'm sure there's some interest. I hope you're having a little fun with your comment, because I was.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Why would the feds be involved . b/c it was on GW Parkway?

Posted by: delantero | March 2, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Why would the feds be involved . b/c it was on GW Parkway?

Posted by: delantero

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Really?

"Any charges would be federal because the George Washington Parkway, where the accident occurred, runs through federal land."

Posted by: DCU_Rick | March 2, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought her name was released? That was after all the last time Gene Wells released one in his pants as JfAtlish so eloquently suggest isn't it?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

fischy, it's kind of a serious topic to make fun of. Stadium is one thing, people dying is another. And I can't even begin to imagine the survivor guilt going on for the driver, not that it in any way makes up for what she did. Lets let the parents and police figure this one out. We wish all the best for Charlie.

Posted by: SeanWG | March 2, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Reading 3 quick Goff blog post + 14 hour work day. Still here actually.

Still think it's silly for them to open an investigation and waste money on what looks like a fairly cut and dry accident b/c it passes through federal land.

Posted by: delantero | March 2, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@chemweapon, I highly doubt that messing with your GPS isn't a crime. Although I'd love to earn a pay check lobbying for tougher laws on people who destroy lives driving distracted. I don't care if its a mini soccer ball hanging from your rear view mirror(sorry gang), messing with your stereo, GPS, cell phone, slapping the taste out of your kids mouth's in the back seat, you should keep your dang eyes on the road, or pull your stupid car over.

Call me a chauvinistic pig, but I think it's even more ridiculous when I see so many "men" texting while driving and talking on their cell phones, all the while laying on their horns at cyclists.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Someone died. That should be worth an investigation, whatever the jurisdiction.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 2, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

that came out wrong. What I was saying is the good old boys in VA who are all talking on their cell phones would probably just use their sense of entitlement to explain they had it handled when pulled over for messing with their GPS's, updating their FB pages, putting on their lipstick, and commenting on Soccer Insider while driving...The cops themselves would say something like, "hey, what's your tweeter tag?" Right?

Ugh. Hang up and drive. Don't start driving until your seat belt is on, and you're ready to go. All my dead friends in bicycle heaven hanging out with bicycle Jesus beg of you.
Goodnight.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly. I suppose the U.S. Attorney's office is unable to come up with a drunken driving charge. Why didn't the Park Police give the driver a Breathalizer test, since they apparently smelled alcohol on her breath?
She may walk, and the only good thing that may come from this is that apparently Charlie was wearing his seat belt, which saved his life when the car was cut in half. He should tour high schools - with the car - and talk about buckling up to teenagers.

Posted by: b18bolo | March 2, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

@SeanWG -- You're right. My bad.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Someone died. That should be worth an investigation, whatever the jurisdiction.
Posted by: I-270Exit1

No doubt, but .. there's always a but . . isn't there more than one investigation and shouldn't things be wrapped up by now?

My feeling is if it was not a high profile accident things would have been finished long ago.

"Alcohol (?), speed, and fiddling with doohickeys while driving were factors in the terrible tragedy." That should suffice.

Posted by: delantero | March 2, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed the guy is still in the running for a WC spot. That's an amazing story.

I hope he makes it. And I'll look forward to Bob Ley's feature on him.

Jesus the Cyclist. I've never thought of Him that way before, DadRyan, but I think I can make it work!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 2, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

from reading court documents and personal experience:

they do not have enough evidence to charge DWI; in spite of Maria admitting to drinking earlier in the evening and the cops saying she smelled of alcohol, she tested less than .08.

(This is probably because in the hour or so after leaving the bar they tried to do the responsible thing and got some food to sober up before driving him back to the hotel).

So the police are left to trying to prove involuntary manslaughter (in simple language that her recklessly behavior caused the death).

But because there is precious little evidence at the scene (no skid marks, etc) to indicate speed and the exact path the vehicle took the police are left with trying to use the data from the GPS unit as the evidence for the charge.

However, the data from the GPS unit is not accurate enough to conclusively substantiate the charge. While it can establish that she was driving faster than the posted speed limit around that time it cannot establish the exact speed at an exact time or rates of acceleration /deceleration or changing lanes-path of travel (lateral g-forces). Average speed at the general time is not sufficient in and of itself to prove negligence / recklessness.

Taken altogether, the available evidence (admission of drinking, smelling of alcohol, admission of being distracted by the GPS) is not strong enough to support a conviction of manslaughter.

So while Maria will likely never be charged, she will have live the rest of her life knowing she was the one responsible for her friends death after what seemed to be such a wonderful evening.

Interestingly, DWI in a federal park is only a misdemeanor. Involuntary manslaughter carries up to 8 years in prison.

Posted by: Section107 | March 3, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

case closed.

Posted by: pino149 | March 3, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

by the way, while its true the Post "broke" the story, SG should not be crowing so much about the Post's coverage of this story. The Posts coverage pales in comparison to this report with quality and context:

http://soccer.fanhouse.com/2010/01/19/victims-family-struggles-to-cope-following-davies-accident/


about the GPS data: most new cars since 2004 are built with airplane-like "black box data recorders" known as Event Data Recorders as part of the airbag system. But these EDRs only record a few seconds immediately prior to the deployment of airbags and only collect a small amount of information (vehicle speed, engine speed, braking, seat belt use, deployment time of airbags).

But the EDR and the GPS units do not record anywhere near as much data as an airplane data recorder and certainly not enough to supply the evidence needed to support a charge in this case.

Posted by: Section107 | March 3, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

I still don't understand what law prohibits them from releasing her name--I've seen plenty of distracted driving death reports in the news and they've named the driver responsible. Heck, they had a whole episode on the subject on Dateline and named every driver on television.

I've never seen anything remotely resembling this case.

Posted by: StanShmenge | March 3, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

What if they release her name? Do you need it because the law commands that you all stone her? Who will cast the first stone?

Posted by: OWNTF | March 3, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

(This is probably because in the hour or so after leaving the bar they tried to do the responsible thing and got some food to sober up before driving him back to the hotel).

Probably? Was the conjecture based on something in the report?

Posted by: Reignking | March 3, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

there is no "law" prohibiting it. It is just the practice now of most law enforcement agencies not to disseminate more information than is absolutely necessary in order to protect the case. Too much information released can interfere with an accused's right to a fair trial by tainting the jury pool.

also to avoid undue harm to a person's reputation should it turn out the situation was merely tragic but did not involve any illegal behavior.

OWNTF's comment about stoning is rather, um, ironic considering the situation and some probably scurrilous comments made about the driver elsewhere....which is exactly why they dont release the name.

Just do a google search on Maria Espinosa and Ashley Roberta

Posted by: Section107 | March 3, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Taken altogether, the available evidence (admission of drinking, smelling of alcohol, admission of being distracted by the GPS) is not strong enough to support a conviction of manslaughter.

Understandable, Section107. But what about the fact that the SUV split in half? Do you think they would bring in an accident expert that could discuss when/why something like that happens? I don't see any other way besides driving at a recklessly dangerous speed.

But anywho, even if she doesn't catch criminal charges, there's always the civil suit, where the burden of proof is much lower. I'm sure the Roberta family can get a few million out of this. It's still a terribly sad situation though. RIP Ashley :(

Posted by: terp871 | March 5, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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