Driver charged with 2 misdemeanors for allegedly fatally hitting couple in a crosswalk
Katy Moeller & Ruth Brown, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
Boise city prosecutors have filed two misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges against Christopher Lammey, the driver who police say fatally struck an elderly couple in a Boise crosswalk in February.
Florence Goar, 87, died at the scene of the Feb. 27 crash. Bob Goar, 89, died about nine days later. They were hit in the crosswalk just before 5 p.m. on Milwaukee Street at West Northview Street.
The charges were filed against Lammey on Wednesday, according to online court records obtained by the Idaho Statesman.
Ada County prosecutors declined to pursue felony charges against Lammey, a 35-year-old Meridian resident. If convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, he faces up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 fine on each count.
Lammey was driving a 1990 black Jeep Cherokee when he struck the Goars, according to the Idaho Transportation Department crash report. Lammey holds a Class A commercial license, the report shows.
As of Thursday morning, Lammey was not in jail and his next court date had not been scheduled.
Lammey has six traffic violations in Idaho, including a 2003 misdemeanor conviction for inattentive/careless driving, according to online court records. The others were infractions: following to closely (2018), speeding (2011), failure to stop at a stop sign (2008), speeding (2002) and following too closely (2000).
The Statesman obtained a copy of the citation in the 2003 inattentive/careless driving incident in Nampa. The citation says Lammey was “squealing tires on the roadway.”
A blood test was done to determine whether Lammey had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the fatal crash on Feb. 27, the ITD crash report shows. But the results were not yet available.
The Goars were about a quarter-mile from their home, likely out for one of their daily walks before dinner, their daughter told the Statesman.
The Goars’ death led to calls for a change in Boise’s driving culture, with drivers being held more accountable and infrastructure upgrades made to improve safety. Some are calling for a change to state law to increase the penalties for drivers who kill others.
The Ada County Highway District said that between 1998 to 2017, there were 46 crashes in the intersection where the Goars were hit. Only one of those crashes was serious, and it was a single-vehicle crash involving alcohol.
The intersection has a flashing yellow arrow light most of the day, allowing motorists to turn if it’s clear of pedestrians and cars. But the flashing yellow doesn’t operate before and after school, a safety feature to protect children who are crossing the street. That’s something all pedestrians could benefit from — if there was a way to activate it, safety advocates say.