A 20-year-old from New Jersey had a heart attack while driving, causing a car accident and landing him with three traffic tickets. Even with a doctor's note in hand, the court is only allowing him to get out of two of these tickets for his medical emergency.
Dan Langley, according to the Asbury Park Press, received three tickets in the mail after his April accident and challenged them in Spring Lake Heights Municipal Court recently.
His main defense was a doctor's note from Dr. Harold Cotler, which read: “Please forgive Mr. Langley’s tickets due to his unfortunate experience of having a heart attack seconds prior to his car accident."
Although two of his tickets, issued by officer Raymond Kwiatkowski, for tailgating and unsafe operation of a motor vehicle were completely dismissed, the one for reckless driving only had the points removed and a reduced fine. Neither Langley nor his parents understand why all three tickets weren't thrown out after it was found he had a heart attack.
“We feel the system is just completely insensitive to something of this nature,” Chris Langley, the 20-year-old's father, told the Asbury Park Press. “How can you charge anyone with anything? Something’s wrong here, and it needs to be fixed. ... This could have been any family. This could have been anyone’s son.”
The family believes the accident itself helped save their son, as it drew police and emergency responders to the scene.
“We feel fortunate because the accident attracted immediate attention. We feel it saved his life,” Chris said. “We’re grateful to Sgt. O’Neill of Spring Lake Heights, because of his efforts. He started CPR. He’s humble; he says it was a group effort. … I can’t say enough about the sergeant. He was at the scene. He went to hospital in ambulance with him.”
Dan Langley is now doing well, although he had to withdrawal from the last semester at a community college and quit working due to his condition at the time. The report states doctors are still unsure what caused his heart attack.