Home
Charges revised after prosecutors learn of 18-year-old's tweets bragging about speeding...

A teenage motorist in California originally charged with vehicular manslaughter in relation to the death of a cyclist has now been charged with second-degree murder after it emerged that he had boasted on Twitter about speeding.

According to Yahoo! News, police claim that 18-year-old Cody Hall’s Dodge Neon car was travelling at 84mph in a 40mph zone when he lost control of his car and collided with husband and wife Johannes and Diana Hersevoort of Dublin, California.

Mrs Hersevoort, aged 58, was killed and her 57-year-old husband injured in the incident, which took place in Pleasanton, a few miles inland from San Francisco Bay, at around 1pm on 9 June while the couple were taking their weekly bike ride.

Initially, Hall was charged with causing vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and reckless driving with serious injury. He was released on $100,00 bail.

On Wednesday, however, he was taken back into custody, without bail, and charged with second-degree murder after his tweets came to light.

According to the Pleasanton Patch which reported on his tweets four days after the fatal incident, in one, Hall asked his 191 followers on the social network to accompany him on a “death ride.”In another, posted in March, he bragged of driving at 140mph.

Just hours before the incident in which Mrs Hersevoort died, Hall had retweeted a message that read, “Drive fast, live young.”

Under California’s Penal Code, if found guilty, Hall faces a jail term of 15 years to life.

The San Francisco Chronicle says that in order to prove the charge against Hall, prosecutors need to show that there was “implied malice."

The newspaper defines that as requiring it to be shown that the driver was “engaged in an intentional, unlawful act done with conscious disregard for the risk to human life.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

18 comments

Avatar
mrmo [2022 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

coud we ever see the CPS trying something similar? Could we ever see politicians change the law to enable such a charge to be brought?

Avatar
Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The older I get, the sadder the world looks due to the ignorance of youth.

Avatar
jacknorell [942 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

CPS prosecuting under anything but motoring offenses for vehicle-assisted fatalities?

Not a chance...

Avatar
Karbon Kev [688 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

that's what we need over here, not before time too!

Avatar
racingcondor [153 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Seems appropriate given the speed he was going never mind the twitter boasts.

Avatar
LondonCalling [149 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Seems to me that in the US, Emma Way would be in jail...!

Avatar
Mattrb78 [23 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Hopefully way will be going away for at least some time on Friday! I only hope that British justice does follow the US this time and make a point by throwing the book at her too. Seems to me that some people just are not responsible enough to drive.

Avatar
therealsmallboy [162 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This whole story is just a damn shame. A woman dead, her husband and family's lives ruined and the man that caused the whole thing has just thrown his life away.

For what?

Can we start putting this stuff on billboards and showing the idiots that it's not worth it?

Avatar
Ham-planet [112 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Back in your day, kids respected their elders - right Nick?

Avatar
Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Ham-planet wrote:

Back in your day, kids respected their elders - right Nick?

Please, I'm only 30, and respecting one's elders doesn't really bear much relevance in this case. This kid doesn't seem to have much respect for anyone in any case, given what e considers acceptable behaviour. I'm just grateful that there were no public fora when I was that age for my brainfarts of youthful naïveté to be recorded for eternity.

Avatar
NorthEastJimmy [56 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Nick T wrote:

The older I get, the sadder the world looks due to the ignorance of youth.

No offence intended Nick, but that’s a pretty poor outlook on the world’s problems. When it comes to confrontations with people I come across, whatever the issue, the age ranges broadly from young adults to old age pensioners. I’ve been disgusted at the language I’ve heard from middle aged people who think, just because you’re younger than them, they know best.

General ignorance is the problem…it does indeed suck.

Avatar
mrchrispy [434 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

the CPS are spineless toads and would rather chase statistics than justice.

Avatar
TeamCC [146 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Sad event, I've been a dumb driver at 18 and received many speeding tickets too. I don't think there is a solution for preventing this, although I assume in 50 years time, our grandkids will be amazed that we once used to drive with a steering wheel instead of having the vehicle take you there by telling it your destination.

Avatar
BillyC [2 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

speed limiters on trucks,,, put them on young drivers cars

Avatar
billyjames [1 post] 2 years ago
0 likes

On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM, Janet Lafleur wrote:

Mark S wrote: "the biggest difference between riding a bicycle in North America and in those cities thought of as 'cycle friendly' such as Amsterdam or Copenhagen is not so much infrastructure per se, but rather the attitude of most motorists"

That's it in a nutshell. Attitude trumps everything, including law. We have laws in place to protect the rights of bicyclists, but they're not enforced and in many cases police don't even know the laws. (or they do and choose to ignore them)

Read what Pleasanton [California] police Sgt Leong said in the death of a rider who was hit along with her husband on Foothill Road:

"One factor in the investigation is whether the Hersevoorts were riding side by side or one behind the other on Foothill, and whether they were both in the bike lane alongside the two-lane road" The road has a shoulder, by the way, not a bike lane.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Dublin-bicyclist-killed-by-car-is-ID...

We as bicycle advocates can argue back and forth about whether and what types of bike facilities are best for bicyclists, but until the attitude changes, nothing will change--on the road nor in the courts.

Until enough people are riding bikes so that the general public is as empathetic to riders as they are to drivers, we will always be marginalized.

Avatar
Dropped [80 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The technology already exists for all vehicles to be limited by GPS data linked to the cars engine management computer. If the road is ascribed a certain speed limit the car could not go any faster as the engine management computer would be instructed by the GPS. It won't happen though - too many vested interests.

Avatar
skippy [408 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Regretably the State will not lock this mongrel up for the rest of his life ! Cyclists'lives are cheap but the cost of Detention is escalating . Can only hope the Judge knows someone who has suffered as a result of a Cycling "Accident"!

When will the Judiciary wake up to the fact that using a Vehicle instead of a knife or gun , amounts to the same result , for the victim ?

Take a look at the latest excuse a " Cop " is using for his not doing the Job for which he is supposedly paid :

http://m.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/cyclist-crushed-after-truck-...

Avatar
jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I am so glad to see the death of a cyclist taken seriously. Clearly at that speed it is gross negligence and far beyond an "accident" Also why on earth would you ever put crap like that on twitter?