I live in California and so does my friend, "Sally'" and her husband, "Jim". This is regarding Jim. Jim recently went to a truck driving school ran by a major transportation company. After he got his commercial license, he was expected to drive for the company for one year as a trainee in lieu of paying tuition – supposedly, he was to be accompanied by a more experienced driver on cross country trips and share driving duty.
Jim was gone from home for several weeks during his first job on the road with the trainer. But then only 6 weeks into his training, he had to drive alone because the trainer was sick. He was driving the huge big rig down a steep incline in Idaho, going approx. 5 mph over the speed limit, when his brakes starting to get hot and were smoking. He drove past several (4-5) runaway truck ramps that could have stopped the truck; I don't know why he didn't use one of them. When he got to the bottom of the incline, there was an intersection with a stop sign; but he was not able to stop for it. His big rig struck the driver-side of a small car, instantly killing the other driver.
No drugs, alcohol or distraction was involved, just an inexperienced trainee truck driver; who, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been driving a big rig alone yet.
Jim was charged with vehicular manslaughter. The trucking company got him a lawyer and has been paying his airfare for court appearances in Idaho. During his last court appearance, he was offered a deal: permanent revocation of his driver’s license.
Jim is not a US citizen, but he has a green card to work here. He has an American-born wife and they are expecting their 3rd child next month. He is a good husband and a good person. He probably would’ve been a better truck driver with more training and could’ve better supported his family.
I know a life was lost due to Jim's actions and he is deeply remorseful. But the punishment seems excessive considering the circumstances. Without a driver's license, not only is Jim’s dream of being a truck driver over, but his ability to support his family will be severely limited without a license to drive. Can a judge in Idaho revoke a California driver's license forever? I thought permanent driver's license revocation was for DUI's, criminal negligence or reckless driving. Is this an appropriate punishment?