Medical examiner, Michael Graham, revealed that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Josh Hancock, was drunk when he died in a car accident a week ago. Graham indicated in a press conference that Hancock was almost twice the legal blood alcohol limit when he crashed into the back of a tow truck that happened to be on the side of the road helping another driver. The tow truck driver was not injured, but Hancock, who was not wearing a seat beat died within seconds of impact from severe head and chest injuries, according to the medical examiner. Additionally, Police Chief Joe Makwa found marijuana and a glass pipe which is used to smoke marijuana inside of Hancock’s Ford Explorer, although toxicology tests have yet to determine if Hancock had drugs in his system at the time of the crash.
It also seems that Hancock was involved in another traffic accident the week before his death on April 26th. Shortly before that accident an unidentified couple, who were present at a steakhouse where Hancock was eating, indicated that he seemed to be drinking heavily and was impaired. They also claimed that they overheard Hancock telling ESPN broadcaster, Dave Campbell, that he [Hancock] had been in big trouble with Tony La Russa, Cardinal manager, because he was late to a game and too ‘hung over’ to play. This account was denied by La Russa who had his own brush with a DUI in March in Florida. La Russa also stated that he would have known if Hancock had a problem, because anyone with a drinking or drug problem could not perform at the level Hancock performed. Hey La Russa, why don’t you tell that to Hancock’s family!
We know that driving intoxicated is just asking for a tragedy. And, we certainly know that seatbelts save lives. So, the question is: Do talented baseball stars and managers think they have some special guardian angel that watches over them? That they don’t play by the same rules as the rest of us? or That they are immune from injury accidents?
Which brings us to another case of celebrity ‘brain out’- Paris Hilton. She was finally forced to face some kind of justice when she was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer to 45 days in jail for disregarding the prohibition to drive after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge. In passing down his sentence Sauer said, “She disregarded everything and continued to drive”.
It doesn’t matter who you are (ask Mel Gibson), anyone can get a DUI arrest and/or into a DUI accident when drinking and driving. Whether drinking or not, everyone on our roadways is taking a chance of getting into an accident. Wearing a seat belt is the best safety feature in an auto accident. Wear it! What do you think Hancock would tell us now about wearing a seat belt?