Roger Ebert created a firestorm yesterday when he tweeted the following after “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn and a friend were killed in a 3AM car crash:
“Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”
Ebert was instantly assaulted by Dunn fans on Twitter for insensitivity.
And, in the moment, other tweets would certainly have been more appropriate.
But if Dunn was bombed and driving when his Porsche flew off a Pennsylvania highway at three in the morning (neither has yet to be publicly confirmed), Ebert was right.
In fact, he understated it.
If Dunn was drunk and driving, his recklessness killed not only him but his companion, 30 year-old Zachary Hartwell. And it could have killed other people if, instead of flying off the road, Dunn’s Porsche had hit another car or pedestrians.
If Dunn was drunk and driving, Dunn’s fans–and Hartwell’s family–should hold him responsible for that.
Driving smashed is a serious enough offence that “jackass” doesn’t even begin to describe it. A more accurate description would be “reckless endangerment” and “manslaughter.” If Dunn was drunk and driving, he died–and killed someone else–while committing a crime.
*UPDATE: The police have confirmed that Dunn was driving and was bombed: His blood alcohol level was 0.196, more than twice the legal limit. Dunn’s Porsche was estimated to be going 130-140mph when it flew off the road. If that isn’t reckless endangerment, we don’t know what is.
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