An Oregon driver's alleged daydream turned into a nightmare after he struck and killed three small children with his vehicle.
A family is angry that a man walked free after killing 3 children by passing a red light. Larry LaThorpe, 68, of Oregon, said that he was “daydreaming” when he struck and killed three children and injured their mother.
"Just driving down the road, watching the lights, watching my speed," LaThorpe said in the taped interview describing his memory before the fatal accident on Main St. in Springfield. "And all of sudden there they were."
Prosecutors said that there was not enough evidence to charge LaThorpe with the murders of John Day, 8, McKenzie Hudson, 5, and Tyler Hudson, 4, who died as a result of LaThorpe passing a red light. LaThorpe also wounded the mother of the children, Cortney Hudson-Crawford, 26, when he struck the family in a crosswalk.
LaThorpe, who pleaded no contest to careless driving, told investigators that he was “probably dreaming” when the incident occurred.
Investigators determined that LaThorpe passed a red light when he killed the children. However, according to Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner, that does not make LaThorpe criminally negligent.
According to Gardner, LaThorpe was not intoxicated. There is no indication of recklessness. The medication he was taking did not affect his ability to drive.
As a result of his plea, LaThorpe had his license revoked for one year. He was ordered to do 200 hours of community service, and he will also have to complete a driver’s safety course.
The Hudson family is disappointed with the verdict. Their attorney, Mike Arnold, said that they will review the case and consider filing civil lawsuits against LaThorpe.