Valley News: Driver Who Hit Halley was Blind in One Eye

Our news this morning comes directly from another source: The Valley News. Writer Mark Davis reports this morning (Tuesday) on details of the case against the driver of a vehicle who hit and killed local teacher and activist Hasse Halley in Woodstock last Fall.  Davis, who we spoke to this morning,  has been closely watching the case which advanced late last week (or very early this week) with a formal filing of details of  the plea agreement:

A few points of information provided by that reporter:

A) Richmond Maxham will pay a fine of $100.  A deal was worked out that, according to Davis’ source, Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand, that took into account Maxham’s lifetime of good citizenship and lack of criminal record.

B) Maxham will take part in a Restorative Justice program that asks him to continue helping victims of Tropical Storm Irene.

C) Maxham voluntarily has given up his driver’s license.

While many locals may already know the following, the information provided by the Valley News on one particular point IS news to Woodstock Early Bird and may be news to others as well. It provides some very valuable context about why this accident might have happened:

D) The Valley News reports that Maxham has been blind in one eye his whole life. In addition, he had recently undergone cataract surgery and laser surgery to treat blood clots in both eyes. The Valley News reports Maxham had been cleared to drive a month earlier by his doctors.

We appreciate the reporting provided by The Valley News. However, we still do not understand why Woodstock Police could not tell us earlier on  a) The simple fact of who was involved in the case (it took an entire month for press release) b)that they  did not see reason for criminal charges based on the initial report or c) the mitigating circumstances (possible eyesight issues) that may have affected the case and d) VERY significantly: That Maxham would not be driving or a potential future threat while driving as the  case was being handled.

It’s clear that Maxham did what any good citizen should following the accident – as we read about the case – and that there was no criminal intent in the accident.  However, knowing now about the potential eyesight issues (Maxham said he did not see anything or anyone in the road) one wonders about the decision by medical personnel to give him the “all clear.”

Our heart does go out to both the Halley and Maxham families as they live with this tragedy.

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