Columbia police officer charged with running over, killing of 4-year-old pedestrian to be arraigned | KRCG

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

A Boone County Circuit Judge on Friday ruled the case of a Columbia police officer charged in the death of a 4-year-old will proceed.

Prosecutors charged Andria Heese with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gabby Curry outside Battle High School in January 2019. . . .

Special Prosecuting Attorney from Camden County Heather Miller said Heese drove her patrol SUV on a sidewalk at Battle High School and ran over Gabby Curry. Miller claimed Heese was going too fast, knowing there could have been pedestrians or children in the sidewalk area.

MoBikeFed comment: According to Heese's attorney, "it would have been almost impossible to see 4-year-old Gabby Curry."

This ignores a couple of very important facts:

- Sidewalks are set aside as areas exclusively for pedestrian use precisely because automobile drivers have a hard time seeing pedestrians. Every driver--and particularly a sworn officer of the law--should be very well aware of these two facts.

- For that reason, **simply driving on a sidewalk area at all**, and particularly at a fast speed, is an act that, by its very nature, recklessly endangers any pedestrians who might be on the sidewalk.

- Additionally, SUVs have even worse visibility than other vehicles, particularly directly to the front. Again, this is a simple fact that SUV drivers must be aware of, simply upon inspection of their vehicle. So driving quickly and recklessly into an area dedicated by law to pedestrian travel, while ignoring the obvious fact that they may very well be pedestrians within the large blind spot directly in front of an SUV, is a reckless act in itself.

Thanks go to the Camden County Special Prosecuting Attorney for continuing to pursue this case based on the facts. Too often, cases of this type are swept under the rug.