Ashley’s law: Following up on Ashley McIntosh’s deadly car crash

Ashley McIntosh who died in a tragic car crash with police officer Perry

Virginia Residents!

A Plea From Ashley’s Mother: Bringing Ashley’s Law to the Table

Dr. Robyn Silverman

As you know we’ve been following the tragic story of Ashley McIntosh, my niece’s teacher, who died in a horrible collision with a police officer, Amanda Perry, on an icy day last February. Witnesses had clearly seen the police car speeding through the red light without a siren, yet with lights, towards the intersection where Ashley was thrown from the car and killed. Many of you have responded in comments about this story over the last year.

There have been many questions around the negligence of the police officer as she didn’t have a siren on—something that hasn’t been required by the police. In fact, the law states that police officers are exempt from the red light/green light law if their “speed is sufficiently reduced.” While Officer Perry had been charged with reckless driving  in May, she was not found guilty in September. Now, it’s time to look at the bigger picture.  We need to protect others.

While there is no way to bring back Ashley, Ashley’s mother, Cindy McIntosh Colasanto, is trying to bring Ashley’s Law to the lawmakers.  This law would require police officers to use their lights and sirens (and slow to a safe speed) when driving through red lights .Anyone in Virginia, please pay attention:

Dear Virginia Resident,

I want to thank you for your signature on the petition urging state legislators to introduce “Ashley’s Law,” a law that would require police officers to slow their cars and turn on their sirens when driving through red lights.    My daughter, Ashley, was killed when a Fairfax County police officer failed to take those simple, life-saving measures.

State Senator Toddy Puller has now introduced a bill requiring officers to follow those guidelines.

Now I want to ask you one more favor that could make the difference in whether this bill become law.

Would you please write/email/call your local senator and representative urging him or her to vote for this bill?

I have included a sample letter that you can cut and paste into an email or letter.

Thank you for your support.   Your actions could truly save a life.

With gratitude,

Cindy McIntosh Colasanto, Ashley’s mother

Dear Assemblyman/Senator ________________:

I am writing to urge you to vote for SB 847 which will require Virginia police officers to slow to a safe speed and use their sirens when driving through red lights.
This is a common-sense requirement which protects innocent citizens as well as police by reducing the risk of potentially deadly collisions.

Thank you,

If you are a Virginia resident, please lend your support to the McIntosh family.

Best regards,

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs

Related:

Original article on Ashley McIntosh

*May 2nd 2008 update here.

*September 2008 update here

Ashley’s law website here

Police Officer Charged: Justice for Ashley McIntosh, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Many of you shared your heartfelt condolences and your frustrations when I wrote about the tragic death of Ashley McIntosh, the beloved teaching assistant of my niece, Evie, and her kindergarten classmates. “Miss Mac,” as the children called her, was killed in a traffic accident when a police car collided with Ashley’s car. Witnesses had clearly seen the police car speeding without a siren, yet with lights, towards the intersection where Ashley was thrown from the car and killed. Here is the full Washington Post article.

Many of you signed the petition for Ashley McIntosh’s fair and speedy investigation. Thank you. Since my last posting on this topic, many people in the community came together to plant McIntosh trees in honor of Ashley. But time marched on and there were concerns of delays due to police involvement.

I received an email today detailing how things progressed, and I wanted to share it with you:

I thought you would like to know that the officer who hit Ashley McIntosh’s car was charged today with reckless driving. I am a lawyer in Fairfax and a lifelong resident here. This is the first time an officer has been charged with a crime for an act committed while on duty. We do have a new chief prosecutor here. There is a news release from the Fairfax County Police:

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253
FCPD-PIO@fairfaxcounty.gov
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police
News Release: 08/045/2575/sb(2)
May 2, 2008

UPDATE – Officer Charged in Fatal Crash

On Friday, May 2, Officer Amanda Perry, 22, was charged with reckless driving after a review of the evidence by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The charge stems from a fatal crash on Tuesday, February 12 at the intersection of Richmond Highway and Boswell Drive. Perry was issued a summons at police headquarters. Officer Perry remains on restricted duty pending the outcome of an internal administrative review.

UPDATE

The driver and sole occupant of the car involved in this crash has died of her injuries at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She has been identified as Ashley McIntosh, 33, of 1410 Oakbrooke Avenue in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.

Colonel David M. Rohrer, Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, issued the following statement:

I wish to express our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to Ms McIntosh’s family and friends on behalf of the Fairfax County Police Department and myself.

I also want to assure them and the citizens of Fairfax County that we are in the process of conducting a comprehensive, balanced, and fair investigation of this crash. In the days ahead, as we move forward in our investigation, we will also share our findings with the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for all of your support.