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Joined: Mar 2011
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Amoeba
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Amoeba
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The driver was cited at the scene and all we know as of now is that he got careless driving (he might have gotten more). He also admitted to passing me on a double-yellow no passing zone. So, who is recklessly endangering who here? I was not cited and was considered a witness. After 2 months of investigation, I went from a witness to a suspect. The suv driver is saying I moved into the lane (of course he would..lol) and the investigating officer said he can see me drift into the lane on the video (but the question is, did this occur during or after the accident?). Yes, I HAVE SEEN the video along with 3 others (my supervisor, the director of transportation for the school district and the bus company's supervisor) who all stand behind me and see nothing! Yes, now you can understand my concerns and how totally screwed this is!


~~BETTER TO BE DISLIKED FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE THEN LOVED FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE NOT~~
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I'll tell you what...him being cited and admitting to passing you on a double line will be a God Send! That is very wonderful news smile

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First off, StormChaser, you are a saint in my eyes laugh

A school bus driver?? Never in a bazillion years could I do that job. Our children (and their parents) desperately need people like you and I, personally, am so grateful that people like you are willing and able to do this job. I'm not fond of driving and I get real cranky in a closed environment with a lot of other people's children. Thank you for being there. You are a hero, indeed. Never forget it!

Depression: I've been visited by that demon from time to time. He ain't no fun. But, please, do not turn to antidepressant medications. That stuff is HORRIBLE! It will make you feel worse, just in a different way. Please make that the option of last resort.

One of the most effective things I've learned to do is sit quietly (or not, sometimes), outside if possible but definitely looking into the sunshine if indoors, at the same time of day as often as possible. I drink my first or second cup of coffee outside almost every day. At the end of the day, after work but before getting on with household needs, I have a cocktail outside in the sun, too.

Our circadian rhythms (wake/sleep cycle) are regulated by the pineal gland, a tiny pine-cone-shaped gland right between the eyes and a couple of inches back. It reads light throughout the day so it can direct your other body functions to stay on schedule. Modern technologies have blurred the boundary between dark and day so the depression this blurring generates does trigger depressive episodes. Keep to the same sunshine break schedule and you'll sleep better and feel great during the day. I started doing this during a depression in 2003 and I haven't seen a depressed day since and I sleep like a baby.

Sunlight is more powerful and speaks more deeply into the psyche than artificial light so go completely outside every chance possible for best results. And don't wear sunglasses but don't look directly at the sun, either; just enjoy whatever's in your outside world. Sunglasses would block the sun, diminishing the full effect of this heavenly remedy.

I live in Texas so it's probably more comfortable for me to go outside at the same time every day than you might want to in Pennsylvania but you don't need to worry about Texas sun. Your body will lock its clock into your environment and that's the only environment that really matters to you.

I also believe in wallowing. I don't want to be a little bit happy every day for a long time so when I have occasion to laugh, I laugh L-O-U-D and I'm not apologetic about it. I'd rather feel completely GREAT right now than just a little happy today so I can maybe be a little happy tomorrow, too. I wallow in happy.

I wallow in depressed, too. And anger and frustration and ill and . . . I think it's helped keep the depression away. When I get the blues and want to cry a bit, I do not try to stop the flow. I go with it instead and let those tears fall with as much passion as need be put forth. That gets it out of my system very effectively so I'll have the blues a day or two, lots of tears, and then I'll wake up all refreshed and ready to move on in a day or two. Try it. Wallow.

My best friend of almost 20 years died last month after a very long lingering illness. I wallowed. I cried. I threw things. I slammed doors. I put fear into the lives of two grown men; they haven't recovered yet. I wallowed. She watched. I miss her terribly but I'm at peace now. Or I would be if I could get those men to come out of hiding.

The Ugliness: Since I live in Texas, our laws are likely to be as different as our sunshine but I've had a rough year and have been forced to learn a lot more about criminal defense in my state than I ever thought I'd need. Mine isn't a traffic issue; it's horrifically hostile neighbors and a very long and slow lawsuit. Have you seen the 1990s movie "Pacific Heights" with Melanie Griffin, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton? That'll give you some idea of what my world's been like. I've spent LOTS of time in the sun lately, trust me!

The short version - my neighbor called the police one day, saying I'd stolen her water hose (I didn't). They came and issued a citation for theft to me because the neighbor told them she wanted to press charges. Had she not said that, none of the rest would be happening now.

A few weeks later, I got a letter from county court saying I needed to meet with the assistant DA to plead guilty or no (no); if I just didn't show up, there would be a warrant issued for my arrest. I had transportation issues that day so I walked to the JP's office. It's only 7.5 miles away - what WAS I thinking?? Anyway, I was feeling quite self-righteous by the time I got there 2.5 hours after marching away from home.

I tried to convince the assistant DA to drop the charges but she would not. That was February. She told me then to expect trial no earlier than May (didn't happen) but I'm pretty sure the charge will be dropped later this week.

Here's what I suggest you do: When you meet with your DA's representative, take with you letters of recommendation from people of authority - your boss, school principal, fellow drivers, school teachers, parents, your Sunday school teacher, anybody who will speak highly and knowingly of you and is held in high regard by the community (friends, schoolmates, family, in-laws won't do). If you've ever won any work-related awards or certifications, take them. Since this is a workplace situation, keep the personal side of your life out of it as much as possible. Keep it professional. If any of these authority figures will go with you, please do take them. If you can present a strong and united front that will vouch for your ability and your professional work ethics, that ol' over-the-horizon truck driver won't stand a chance.

Statute of Limitations: Why was he allowed to file on you two months after the fact? Every crime comes with a statute of limitations - the length of time that can elapse between the committing of the crime and the calling it a crime (filing charges).

In my case, for example, there's an 18-month statute of limitations for petty theft. If she hadn't told the cops on the scene to file charges on the spot, she had 18 months to think about it. She could file at any time until 18 months to the day the "crime" was committed. If she waited 18 months and one day, the statute of limitations would make her devious little wishes null and void. No charges could legally be filed at that time. No charges can ever be filed after the statute runs out.

I did not hire a lawyer and I will not hire a lawyer even if the charge against me is not dropped. It's a petty thing, although one that leaves a permanent scar. If it involved something as valuable as my job, especially a job I like, I'd hire a lawyer but don't let them talk down to you or patronize you in any way. This is your life, your job, your money. You direct the show. The lawyer is your hired spokesman, on your payroll now.

Arm yourself with knowledge. You seem like a smart cookie to me so let's make you a strong one, too. I've been studying up at a website called "Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer." It's an easy-to-understand interpretation of the laws, their penalties if broken, and how the legal system works. I bet there's a similar site for PA law.

Another one I use often is "oncle" and the website lists a link to PA so I know it'll be helpful. It's the actual law as it's worded on the official record books. I'm a proud geek and I love this stuff. It gives me more confidence to see the actual wording of the law myself than rely on someone else's interpretation. Just type in the "crime" as it's worded on your legal documents and you'll go straight to it.

Good luck! Get some SUN!! And WALLOW!






Sandy Hemphill, Cocktails Editor
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Wow! I don't know how I missed this! I wish I had something of use to add to all the excellent suggestions that have been posted, but I can't think of much.

Stormchaser, it sounds as if you have things going in your favor, even though you have been charged. I don't understand their waiting so long to charge you, unless as you said, the other driver has put pressure on them. He might have ideas that if he can get you convicted of this charge, he can get you to pay for his car, and that it might put him in a position to sue you for some nonsense like mental anguish. (How ironic would that be?!)

But because the SUV driver was cited at the scene and admits to passing you in an illegal way, it seems as if the court would see that the entire acccident was caused because of his illegal actions. As you said, maybe he saw the truck coming, and decided (rightly) that it was better to hit a stationary object than an on-coming truck.

I totally understand your concern, but from the outside looking in, it's a pretty bogus charge. It reminds me of a time when I once had a woman hit me as I was backing out of a parking space. MY insurance company said it was MY fault! She said that if I were more than half-way out of the space, it would be HER fault. I SAID, "I WAS MORE THAN HALF-WAY OUT!" Then, she admitted why she made the call--SHE SAID, "WELL, THAT GIRL'S FATHER CALLED ME AND THREATENED ME LAST NIGHT!" CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! The accident became my fault because the girl who hit me when I was almost all the way out of the space, because she was speeding, had her father call and threaten the insurance adjuster!

That kind of thing shouldn't happen, but sometimes it does. Our court system is not perfect, but it's pretty good at sifting through the c**p, if you know what I mean. I think your attorney is sure this will be thrown out because he's probably seen situations like this before. And the bottom line is that worrying about it won't change a thing. Just say a prayer, give it to God, and trust Him and your lawyer. You know you didn't do anything worng, and that will be proven in court.

I believe that all the other posters have given you some great advice, but the main thing is that you need to take care of you. Deb gave some great advice in ways to pamper yourself and make yourself feel good. That's really good advice all the time, but especially when you're feeling down.

We're pulling for you, Stormchaser, so keep us informed!

Wishing you the best!
Kitten

Last edited by Kitten - Depression; 06/14/11 03:50 PM.

Kitten Kristine Jackson
DEPRESSION

The measure to which we judge others is the measure to which God will judge us. Be kind & understanding always. : )
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I simply love your quote !!

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Amoeba
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Ok everyone, here is an update on what is going on. First of all, I was a little nervous but not that bad. My lawyer talked to the DA and the officer before the hearing and here is what happend. My preliminary hearing was waived and I applied for a program called ARD (Accelerated Rehab Disposition) which is only available to first timers. In a nutshell, it is an alternative to punishment and having a criminal record, huge fines, loss of license, etc. It also stops the proceeding from going to trial (which I could not afford anyways). The DA dropped one of the charges and I am now going to have to do 6 months of community service, some fees to pay to be on the program and no loss of license. Also, after the 6 months the charges are dropped like nothing happened. My number one concern was my license because I make my living with it. Most of you might disagree with me and my lawyers' decision to go along with this. Yes, I still believe I am not guilty of any of the charges and I will never be guilty of them by being on this program. I could not afford the thousands of dollars to continue this on to trial. I also want to tell you this...some people have given me their opinion as to the suv driver (who caused all this cr**) knew someone in the justice system/police department or could have threatened them if they didn't go ahead and press charges. Well, to my surprise, the suv driver who caused this mess is a RETIRED NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER. That should not matter but apparently, it does. Money talks and bull**** walks! Unfortunately, this is NOT over. The DA accepted my application but that does not mean I will be approved. I have another hearing (but in the larger Court of Common Pleas) in September. Also, the 6 months and no loss of license is standard and CAN be changed at the descretion of the DA. :(

Last edited by StormChaser; 07/06/11 01:48 PM.

~~BETTER TO BE DISLIKED FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE THEN LOVED FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE NOT~~
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Wow! Stormchaser, don't worry about anyone here judging you or thinking you did the right or wrong thing. It's your decision, and I think I would've done the same thing in your situation. I just hope that you are approved for the program (which sounds like a good deal for you), and that everything works out in your favor!

I'm not at all surprised to find that the SUV driver was a bit of a celebrity. I knew something was fishy with this whole thing. That can't be a coincidence.

Be sure to keep us informed as to your program approval, etc. We're pulling for you! smile



Kitten Kristine Jackson
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The measure to which we judge others is the measure to which God will judge us. Be kind & understanding always. : )
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You are a self dependent person and having so many responsibilities of your family. I think you should not think of useless things and keep concentrating your responsibilities. You will feel good.

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I'm so sorry that you have to endure this stress. I, too, tend to dwell on things and worry about them when the outcome is uncertain. I am blessed to still have my dad, and although he was a lot like me when he was younger, he has learned with the wisdom of age (65) that worrying won't change anything. If there is a solution, you will find it (and you've done what you can for now), and if there is no solution, then there is nothing you can do. I still have trouble acting on that advice, but it is so true. You try to gain mastery over your mind (the meditation techniques suggested are great; if you're religious, prayer can serve the same function) and resolve not to worry as long as you are doing everything you can to address the situation.

Best of luck and {{{hugs}}}


Laura Delgado, Ph.D.
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If you are on the stage of depression it is advisable to relax and calm yourself. Clear your minds with the worries that you. Try yoga and meditation. Aromatherapy can also help you. Once you are calmed an relax you can think better and find solution for your worries. talk to someone be brave you can move on to your situation right now..

Last edited by innerscent; 07/27/11 10:18 PM.
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