About the author

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

2 comments to “California Conservation Corps Failed to Heed Warning Signs Before Fatal Van Crash”

  1. Ron Shackelford

    How accurate is a drug and alcohol text. 32 hrs after the fact. Really you made it sound as if he had been tested. And passed with flying colours. Anyone could pass a text like that given enough time before submitting a sample. This wasn’t a test in any way shape or form. It was nothing more than a formality. Now I guess it goes right back to what the judge told all of us in court that day. Oh well what do you want us to do about it now. This is the state investigating the state and not being accountable to anyone. Especially the parents of those they killed. Let me ask you a question. Why not involved a family member of a victim in an investigation. Where the system it self is under suspicion for a death. If there was a death at my house would they let me tell them am looking into it. I will let you know if I find anyone here at fault. Mr Levin. Your articles are according to what you told me are mainly focused on State and Federal corruption and cover-up. The fact that any organisation can investigate it’s self is as curupt as it gets. Shortly after the death of my daughter. An unarmed 19 year old young man was was pulled over and after stepping from his truck Shoot at point blank range. Several people had turned on their cameras​ and video taped this confrontation. The young man after being shoot twice by both offices​ went straight to the ground. Were he laid their moaning in server pain. Those two officers both kept their guns drawn and pointed at the young man telling him to put his hands out in front of him. Either one of those officers could have holstered a gun bent down and put this young man in handcuffs while to be safe the other one kept him covered. As I watched this I kept an open mind. Even though I did not think they had to shoot him. I still agree in a situation like that a police officer safety comes first. When I saw why they pulled the trigger. I found neither officer at fault for their decision. It was only a moment or two had passed a third officer pulled up he quickly jumped out of his car with a semi automatic shotgun. Walked over to the young man who was still moaning and holding his hands over his wounds. The officer with the shotgun told the young man if you move again I am going to shoot you. A moment later the officer fired the shotgun killing the young man instantly. Like I said I have an open mind. All though I wasn’t happy about how quickly the first two officers shot. They could Both claim and I would have to agree for their own safety they fired their weapons. The third officer shot this young man for no reason what so ever other than he didn’t comply fast enough to suit him. Noncompliance is a reason to be arrested. It is not a reason to be killed. The Fresno police chief because their were so many videos already on Facebook and U tube allowed the public to view the officers​ video cam as well. So after seeing this from the point of him being pulled over to beging killed. Their wasn’t any doubt that third officer flat out murdered that young man. With out his life being in jeopardy he had no legal right to fire his weapon. Even with all that the Fresno police did an internal investigation into​the young man’s​death and found them selves at no fault. No explanations​. Just, no were not guilty of any wrongful​ death. How do the people of this country allow this system not to stand accountable when it’s obviously in the wrong. The day I asked that CHP officer why they didn’t have that driver drug tested . He replied the CHP is not accountable to you Mr Shackelford. Then I asked that CHP officer if you’re not accountable to me then who are you accountable to. He replied one thing and one thing only. NOT YOU!!!! To this day I still have no idea who are system has to account to. But I definitely know it’s not the tax payers.

  2. Ron Shackelford

    Mr. Levin
    Several of the parents as well as most of the family members agree, that you wrote a great story about the tragedy we endured. I myself am not one of them. In the days, weeks, months, and now years following the death of our children. This is what we had to endure. I think you left out most of the things that has kept us so bitter. You explained that the driver was drug tested. But you failed to explain, how the CHP after talking to the Witnesses as well as reviewing any and all of the evidence on the scene that day could not come up with even one explanation of how or why this took place. But they themselves deemed it unnecessary for the driver to be drug tested when he reached the hospital that day. You forgot to tell your readers about how when I called the CHP investigator, in charge of this case, and asked him why? His only explanation to me was. The California Highway patrol is not accountable to you Mr. Shackleford. And then hung up the phone. In the days, weeks, months, and now years following the death of our children. This was the attitude of those involved with investigating and Prosecuting this case. As well as those who could have stepped in. This was just, some of what we had to endure. The day after the crash. The supervisors from CCC came to our home’s. They explained that their would be a check for $10.000 in the mail, to cover any and all funeral expenses. As well as how sorry they were about what had taken place. They also explained ​that if we needed anything, or they could help us in any way, just please let them know. The day after I politely handed my business cards out to my daughter’s​ coworkers, and asked for any information about the crash as well as the driver. The same people that said they were so willing to help us in any way they could. They called me at work, that very next day, and told me I was not allowed on their property from that point on. And Mr. Levin you forgot to explain about how after these employees that were terminated, and as some put it. Pressured into quitting their jobs. How I encouraged them to speak to the private investigator we hired. And how they should give written statements about what was taking place their. You forgot to tell your readers, I then called up Governor Brown’s office. The same Governor that gave that heart filled speech after this tragedy took place. At that point I explained that, in my opinion as well as several employees at the Fresno CCC yard. The supervisors were illegally terminating, as well as they we’re pressuring employees into quitting. I also explained that all the employees I was referring to, were the same ones, that spoke up for our kids, and spoke out, about what had, as well as was still going on at the CCC yard. I asked Governor Brown’s office for one thing, and one thing only. To allow me to email these employees, written statements to his office. So they could read them for their self, and decide if their was a reason for him to take action on those employees behalf. Governor Brown’s office refused that request. Why? The only reason I can come up with is ( Plausible Deniability.)
    You failed to explain how the District Attorney trampled on our victims rights by not notify us of our victims rights first of all. As well as the change in court date for the drivers arraignment. How after I question them about this they flat out lied to me. And when I asked them to give me their explanation in writing. It was at that point the DA in charge of this case told me her supervisors told her she was not allowed to talk to me anymore. They then appointed someone in charge of Victims compensation as a go between. ( Go figure the same people that stand up for justice in California.) Got mad because I asked them to put something they said in writing. Ronnie Cruz’s mother Angela Depalma and I went and talked to this lady they put as our go between. After we explained all of our concerns. She told us. And I quote.
    ( She has been involved in many many cases such as this. But never had she seen one investigated in this way. As she saw and heard us gasp she added but I have never seen a case like this that involved a state vehicle.) She then heard as well as saw us gasp again. I guess she thought we would feel better about the fact that everyone was dealing with this case deferent then they normally would. It didn’t. It just confirmed​ all of our fears.
    And how about the judge himself​. When I brought to his attention the fact that are rights had been violated. He told us all. And I quote ( Oh well, what do you want me to do about it now. ) You also forgot to tell your readers about the District Attorney in charge of this case telling​ us that the judge him self made that deal with the defendants lawyer. And because of that, their was nothing she could do about it. According to what she told all the family members the day we heard about their deal. You just told your readers the DA’s made that deal. The DA told all of us. The judge made it. You also left out the part about Ronnie Cruz not even being considered a victim in this case. As well as his family not having any rights in those court proceedings. To this day I still don’t understand how the court can say a witness to a crime can be a victim. But Ronnie Cruz who spent the next Eight months after that crash in a coma was not a victim. Yes this California tragedy goes well beyond that crash. What followed, was us realizing not only could this state get away with being at fault for the death of our children. But no one with any Authority would stand up and fight for our children’s ​right to receive justice. What we found out is no one with any Authority cared. And what were realizing is with the law suits we filed were still several years away from ever having any closer to all of this.

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