Roughly two months ago, Nick Adenhart had his very first start of the 2009 season. In six innings of work, Adenhart pitched masterfully, throwing six shutout innings.
To quote master "songsmith" Frank Sinatra: "But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes, he's got high apple pie in the sky hopes."
Adenhart, after the game, went out to celebrate with friends after what could be described as his best work of his short Major League career. On their way back from the nightclub that the group and Adenhart went to, their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.
Adenhart, the driver, and one other person were killed.
We all know what happened.
Now two months since that depressing and shocking accident, the man who killed Adenhart, the driver, and one other person was in court. On June 8th, Andrew Gallo (22), who is charged with three counts of second-degree murder along with three other felony charges and a misdemeanor, plead not guilty.
The deputy District Attorney in charge of the case said that if Gallo was convicted of the three murder charges, he would be seeing a minimum of 45 years in prison which would be mandatory. If Gallo is convicted of all charges, he would be looking at 54.8 years to life behind bars.
Gallo, when he crashed into the car that was carrying Adenhart and three others, was triple the legal blood-alcohol level; which in the state of California is .08. His BAL (Blood Alcohol Level) was .24, well over the legal limit anywhere in the United States.
Gallo's attorney will be seeking a change of venue becuase Gallo might not be able to get a fair trial in Orange County which is home to the Angels and California State University at Fullerton.
His attorney also noted that he and his client (Gallo) have been receiving death threats.
"I think people are venting and it's just evidence of the passion people have in this case. I don't think it's a true threat," he said, noting he had not brought it to the district attorney's attention.
The lone survivor from the wreck was with the friends and family of Adenhart and the other victims in the courtroom. The lone survivor, 24 year old John Wilhite, received surgery to repair what doctors call "internal decapitation," which is a rare and often fatal separation of the skull from the spinal column.
Gallo's attorney says that he [Gallo] is frequently in tears and was crying during their last meeting.
At least Gallo feels some remorse for his actions.
You can find the article used from FOXSports here.
The majority of people I talked to about this incident believe that it could have been prevented if Gallo was in jail for his first DUI offense. As they said, this was not a case of underage drinking.
No, this is a case of someone who should not have even seen the driver's seat of a car, let alone a license.
Without getting too political about the DUI laws, I asked some friends from outside of the United States about their country's laws. Of course all of them agreed that the United States has some of the laxest DUI laws around.
Ontario (Canada) and the cities inside the province has a zero tolerance policy for DUIs. Zero-tolerance meaning if you get caught, no three strikes, no suspension of license, no fines: none of that. If your caught not only do you lose your license permanently, but you face a minimum of jail time starting at three years.
It's the same thing in Northern Ireland and Germany.
I guess it doesn't matter what the DUI laws are. Incidents like Nick's are still going to happen. But we can prevent more incidents, like Nick's from ever happening.
As Frank Sinatra once sang: "I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem, some people get their kicks stomping on dream."
Finally, whatever you do: never drink and drive.