2007-06-01 / Editorial/Opinion

A Tragic Death, An Issue That Must Be Addressed

Donna Marie Bain died nearly two years ago in a tragic and horrific crash on Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel. Bain's husband, Edward Bain went on trial last week, charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence. Bain says that he had no more than five beers. The morning after the crash, Bain was forced to take a blood test that revealed that his Blood-Alcohol Count (BAC) several hours after the death of his wife was .08, and that he was therefore legally drunk under New York State law. A jury will ultimately decide whether or not the evidence supports the prosecution's contention that Bain was driving drunk that night and therefore caused the death of his wife. There is another issue afoot here, however, and that is the question of punishment should that jury find him guilty. There is a "joker" in the deck and he is only eleven years old. Thomas Peter Bain lost his mother in the crash in October of 2005. His father's mother, long a primary care-giver, died a few months ago. He is estranged from his mother's family. His father faces fifteen years in prison if found guilty. There are many west end residents who believe that justice would best be served by sentencing Bain to probation should he be found guilty so that he can continue to care for his young son. There are some skeptics who believe that Bain is counting on the largess of the judge in providing that sentence because of the child's situation. While we have lots of sympathy for Thomas Bain, we believe that, should his father be found guilty of driving drunk and thereby killing his wife, he should face the full penalty for his acts. Alcohol consumption has long been a problem in our community, impacting both teens and adults. Far too many people have died due to overdoing the consumption of both alcohol and drugs. It is time to send a message that DUI will no longer be tolerated and that those who drive drunk and kill innocents will be punished to the full extend of the law. It is a shame that the sending of this important message might have to begin with a tragic case such as Bain's, but he is charged with driving impaired and with speeding down Cross Bay Boulevard, driving his wife to her death. The child will suffer, but the children always suffer.

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