Hinesburg community expresses concern over double fatal accident - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Hinesburg community expresses concern over double fatal accident

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A double fatal accident in Hinesburg in April has the community both grieving and placing blame.

"I took this one on because a bicyclist driving down the road minding his own business got taken out," those are the powerful words from Hinesburg Police Chief Frank Koss, after 47 year old Richard Tom was struck and killed while riding his bike by 17 year old Joseph Marshall. Both men died at the scene on Route 116 in April.

"He was a 17-year-old boy who loved life, living free, and at 17 they all say it's not going to happen to me," said Alisha Marshall, Joseph Marshall's mom.

Alisha says part of her son's free spirit was a love of driving. But she said she had spoken to him about the dangers of speeding. Police say he was driving at least 83 miles per hour through the Village of Hinesburg when he hit Tom.

"It was totally an accident, it was a tragic accident, my son is not a murderer, if anything I believe it would have been involuntary manslaughter," Alisha Marshall said.

Chief Koss disagrees. In a controversial op-ed published in a local paper, he says Marshall would have been charged with second degree murder had he lived. He defended his views to the public and Marshall's family at a forum Thursday night.

"I am standing by that, I think that there was a lack of concern for human life, because you can't drive like that and not expect to hurt or kill somebody. Period," Chief Koss said.

Richard Tom's friends and other cycling enthusiasts echoed the Chief's sentiments.

"Your son sounds like a wonderful person, but he put the whole village of Hinesburg at risk that day," said Joe Perella.

Marshall's family did not dispute the excessive speed. But his mom says Chief Koss is targeting her son by not highlighting other cases of fatal bike accidents.

Many of those who attended the forum however, said speed is a problem in the town of Hinesburg. And the Chief's article struck a nerve.

"When I read your article I was moved by what really came through, that you really want Joseph's horrible death to try to save the lives of other people," Mary Hurley.

Related Stories:

2 dead in Hinesburg car crash

Hinesburg community mourns victims of deadly crash

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