“No red flags” found in radio contest death

From the “I don’t wanna go off on a rant here” files we learn today that Sacramento County prosecutors will not file any criminal charges against radio staff in the water-drinking death of a Rancho Cordova mother of three (read Runnergirl’s comment).

“Any reasonable person wouldn’t have concluded that she was seriously ill or in danger of dying,” said district attorney’s spokeswoman Lana Wyant. “There were no red flags.”

Uh, uh, really? The Sac Bee article goes on to cite facts to the contrary (saving me the trouble). My hunch is (and you legal eagles out there can help me out) that this is cost saving move to the County and the taxpayers. Thus allowing the civil case to move forward and the real fireworks to begin.

As much as I am behind personal accountability I just can’t come to terms with the footage of the DJs flippantly dismissing the callers who tried to warn of the dangers of such a contest.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

10 thoughts on ““No red flags” found in radio contest death”

  1. i’m no legal eagle but i can’t figure out how to square these two statements

    “She knew what the contest involved when she entered it and had the option to stop or discontinue her participation in the contest at any time,” said Scully


    “There were no observable indications or symptoms that Jennifer Strange was experiencing a serious medical emergency which would have required station employees to seek or administer medical aid to her,” Scully said

    she should have known it was dangerous, but there were no signs it was dangerous.

    it’s okay for the court to assume that she knew she was continuing past the point of safety, but not okay for the court to assume that the signs were there and the DJs ignored them, considering the incontrovertible fact that she did in fact die?


  2. Just because somebody warns you that something that seems innocuous could kill you, and you do it anyway, and then you die, doesn’t mean that you should have known not to do it. The person who warned you might have been crazy. For example;

    If one of the many interesting and colorful people I meet each day around my office on K Street were to warn me of the dangers of wearing a blue shirt, and I were to flippantly disregard his statement, yet the next day, I wore a blue shirt, even maybe to poke fun at the very idea, and I walk outside and instantly get mauled by a cougar that had escaped from the zoo…well, it’s possible that there’s a causal relationship…but I doubt it.

    However, when somebody calls your radio station to warn you that your seemingly harmless contest could quite possibly kill one of the contenstants, and that person is a registered nurse, and also considering that about a year ago, somebody did die from doing exactly what you are having your contestants do, and there was a direct medical correlation as the the very activity and the cause of death, well, it’s an altogether different story.

    If that doesn’t count as a “Red Flag”, what does? The next time I flip on my radio and the DJ is having a contest to see who can withstand having their sternum drilled into with a stanley masonry drill the longest, do I have to actually find out the address of the station, drive over there and actually bring an actual, real red flag with me before they’ll take me seriously when I say “hey, these people might die if you drill into their heart.”?


  3. Chris, are you even a registered nurse? You better not go around dispensing medical advice like “don’t drill into peoples hearts” if you don’t have the proper license. You might get sued.


  4. Well, hypothetically speaking, one might be a registered nurse, and hypothetically speaking, an RN MIGHT give that advice, were we to assume, for the sake of argument, that said advice would be in line with the general knowledge and aim of being a registered nurse. I did not mean to insinuate that anyone other than an actual registered nurse should give out that advice, or that they even necissarily would do so.


  5. This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

    Gary Reed
    Forum Editor


  6. 1) DJs “flippantly dismissed the callers” who tried to warn of the dangers of such a contest? SO DID THE CONTESTANTS. The contestants were listening to the show too. And it was only 1 caller.

    2) Did any “caller” really say they were a nurse? Read the transcript- it’s all over the ‘net. The “nurse” issue only came out after the “nurses” called a TV station. Rather better follow up than I’d expect from nurses- musta NOT been Kaiser nurses.

    When is the heart drilling contest? I ain’t got one, so I’d win… what? A $100 coupon? Maybe $150 if I cut off a limb on the air?


  7. You are all over the place with your comment, Tutry.

    Is there a minimum requirement of concerned callers needed before they should be taken seriously. And the DJs dismissed the callers not for what they were saying, but that it didn’t matter because the contestants signed waivers.

    And who said anything about nurses? I appreciate your comments, however, and thank you for stopping by.


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