How would you feel if your friend killed somebody by drunk driving?
Hey guys, I'm 23 and I'm struggling with how to feel about this situation. I have a friend whom I've known for about a year. We are not romantically involved in any way - I know him through another friend. I've hung out with him at parties, and he's a really nice guy.
I find out that a month ago, he got drunk at a party and drove his car on the wrong side of the freeway at 4am, hit a taxi head-on and killed a passenger, and injured two others. He himself had just minor injuries.
I'm not sure how to feel about this. I think what he did was completely repulsive and horrendous. That person is dead. But do I support him as a friend? Is what he did unforgivable? How do I support somebody who did something so heinous? Especially when it's at odds with my impressions of him - he is genuinely a nice guy, but he made a terrible decision and has to live with the consequences. Also just fyi, he is extremely successful, he's young around 24, and went to Harvard, Oxford, and was in business school.
Have any of you experienced something similar? I feel like I should be supporting him as a friend, but I don't know how when I am so disgusted by what he did. What would you guys do? Thanks in advance.
You should just forget about it. Completely forget it ever happened. It has nothing to do with your life today. No sense rehashing the past. Nope, never discuss it. Not a word.
Sort through your own feelings privately . Be as supportive as you feel comfortable with. HE is the one who must suffer the consequences. So, any kind words on your part are not a bad thing.
I agree with r2. If he has a conscience, he will torture himself enough, and if he doesn't, no amount of moralizing from others will make a difference.
Plus, he's going to have major legal problems ahead, too-- Harvard or no.
I dumped a life-long friend after his arrest for solicitation of a 13 year old girl online. He was caught in a law enforcement scheme. He spent time in jail and then got caught doing it again.
Anyway, right before he was taken to jail the second time he got his wife pregnant so she wouldn't leave him. While in jail she kept getting calls from a credit card company saying she hadn't been making payments. She knew she didn't have this card and asked for statements to be sent. They arrived. Thousands of dollars in porn sites and 900 numbers.
After release from jail or prison or whatever he can't be around his four children unattended.
You should be more concerned about the family of the people your fucking piece of shit boyfriend didn't care about when he got behind the wheel and started the car.
He deserves every bad thing that happens to him.
this is UNFORGIVABLE.
OP, how well do you really know this guy? You said you know him through a friend and hang out at parties. That doesn't sound particularly close. You sound like acquaintances at best. My gut feeling is to keep your distance. It doesn't sound like you're invested in the relationship enough to justify "supporting" him. Be polite but keep him at arms length and never introduce him to anyone as your friend.
[quote]Also just fyi, he is extremely successful, he's young around 24, and went to Harvard, Oxford, and was in business school.
What does any of this have to do with anything? Seriously, I'd love to know why you thought this information was relevant.
What's happened to him legally?
OP, I have the same question as R7. It's very strange that you didn't mention anything about how the law dealt with your friend. I hope you don't mean to tell us it was a hit-and-run situation.
This was in the news. The guy made a huge mistake and will pay either financially or by doing time in jail. But, given his background, I think he will eventually get his life back in order.
He should be rearrested for those 90201 sideburns and the excessive hair gel.
[quote]"Also just fyi, he is extremely successful, he's young around 24, and went to Harvard, Oxford, and was in business school."
What does any of this have to do with anything? Seriously, I'd love to know why you thought this information was relevant.
It's like in the newspapers. When a tragedy involves a car, if it's a luxury model the paper will print the name of the vehicle. It's irrelevant but somehow makes people think: "Wow it can happen to anyone."
i'd never talk to the drunky killer again
Your friend is guilty of manslaughter, if he mans up, pleads guilty and accepts his punishment I would support him all the way.
If he has the money to mount a defense to get himself off I would tell him to go fuck himself. He killed someone, he took someone away from those that loved him. If he puts that dead man's family through a trial he is no one I would support or befriend on any level. To say nothing of the person that was hurt. These are devastating events in the lives of others, it isn't about your friend anymore.
Folks like R9 scare me a bit "..good find.
OP ...if you at eRe an acquaintance. ...do nothing more. If you are a closer friend , try to be supportive but avoid getting over involved. This guy is going to have a load of trouble. Unfortunately he didn't beat the odds that lots and lots of other people also gamble on.
And it cost his victims a great deal. And their families. And it will cost him too
OP, your "friend" sounds like an entitled asshole. It's a shame if he doesn't spend a day behind bars, but I doubt he will given his background.
This guy killed and injured innocent people. The degrees and fact he could post $250,000 bail mean nothing...he deserves to be punished. You can be supportive as a friend as long as you never ever make HIM the victim.
Thanks for the reply guys, I agree with a lot of what you all said.
[R6] I included that bit to show that he is actually a high-functioning individual, and that he's not tweaking all the time or anything, and to show that I was REALLY not expecting this to happen because he should have definitely known better. I just can't get over the fact that there were so many points of intervention - he had to leave the party, get into his car, put the keys into the ignition, etc etc and I just can't believe how incredibly stupid and thoughtless he was.
What got me thinking about all of this was a comment I saw on one of the news articles, which said something like "His parents will hire a good lawyer and he's just going to get a slap on the wrist," and I felt really upset at this and was hoping that he would serve time. And then I realized that I was hoping someone I knew would go to jail, and felt both bad but justified. Was just wondering if anybody else had faced a similar situation.
He's set to appear in court Nov. 12. I think I will keep my distance for now.
I would't get in a car with him.
For the love of God, R9, he didn't make a mistake. He intentionally got behind the wheel of the car while intoxicated. Please don't minimize his deadly decision.
I've never been that confident about my driving that I would drive anywhere close to drunk. Never really understood that.
Poor people in taxi cabs don't matter
Ask yourself this question: what if this happened to you? Put yourself in his position and then you'll know the answer.
While you ponder R23's question, remind yourself of the lives that were unalterably changed--and a life ended--by this gifted shit stain of your acquaintance.
I've never understood how you can go the wrong way on an expressway and not notice. Signs are backwards, you're on the wrong side of the road, there are signs saying no entrance.
I just don't get how it happens. His blood alcohol was 0.15 - which is drunk but not blotto out of your mind drunk.
People - let this be a lesson - spend the $25 for a taxi.
Who knows? Perhaps one day he will be First Lady!
If he's a friend you stick by him. He didn't do it on purpose for God's sake. He'll be judged enough.
You're obviously not an important friend of his, so you don't have a problem really.
I'm on the fence with this. It's not like he intentionally set out to kill someone or do harm. Alcoholism is a disease, and for some people, in their blacked-out stupor, they think they can operate behind the wheel of a car. I think it all has to do with his reaction to this. If he feels real guilt about what he did, you should support him. But if he doesn't, then it's probably best to cut the limited ties you have with him.
[quote] I'm not sure how to feel about this.
Because you're a PSYCHOPATH, OP.
Your friend that you only want to have sex with OP deserves to be sent to the electric chair.
He accidentally drove drunk? Bullshit, it wasn't a mistake. Every moron on the face of the earth knows when they drink and drive they are responsible for their actions.
The fact that you don't know how to feel about this just shows how pathetic you are OP. Fuck you. Seriously, just fuck you. You're a piece of shit for even contemplating and asking for advice. Killing somebody because of your own stupidity is never forgivable.
I think a person would have to be SERIOUSLY fucked up to be driving on the wrong side of the freeway. I say punch and delete. Never heard of a drunk driving jew before this one.
Think of it as his having been a part of God's mysterious plan.
I'd remain his friend and try to get him help - with rehab or AA or something. And he probably needs therapy. What he did was reprehensible but it's not in the same category as intentional pre-meditated murder. He's an addict.
r33, why is he automatically an addict because he killed and injured people DWI?
He's not the victim here.
I've known alcoholics who would never get behind the wheel drunk. I've also known casual drinkers who made it a habit.
OP, it sounds like you're rubbernecking into the drama of an acquaintance. People died and you're worried about how it affects you personally? Just sit down.
If you really cared about him you'd take him hiking in a state park that has wonderful vistas, deep valleys, and plenty of wildlife. You'd allow him to open up about his fears and regrets, listen as a nonjudgmental friend. Then you'd shove him off a cliff and toss some vodka bottles and bloody meat down after him in case he survived the plunge.
[quote]I have a friend whom I've known for about a year. We are not romantically involved in any way - I know him through another friend. I've hung out with him at parties, and he's a really nice guy.
So, he's really the friend of a friend? Has there been anything more than hanging out with him at parties... such as hanging out independently of others?
[quote]But do I support him as a friend?
Again, he doesn't sound like a particularly close friend, by your description. Does he consider you to be a good friend of his?
[quote]Is what he did unforgivable?
[quote]How do I support somebody who did something so heinous?
Like what? "Oh, don't worry, it's ok. It's not that bad... you'll get over it." Does he even need your support, this friend of a friend whom you hang out with at parties?
[quote]Especially when it's at odds with my impressions of him - he is genuinely a nice guy, but he made a terrible decision and has to live with the consequences.
Yes, HE must live with the consequences, not you.
[quote]Also just fyi, he is extremely successful, he's young around 24, and went to Harvard, Oxford, and was in business school.
So, even though he's guilty of manslaughter, he has all this going for him... which is the core of your desire to be friends with him. He builds up your social standing and you don't want to lose that.
My partner did something unforgivable half a lifetime ago. He lost everything. Everyone in his life, career, holdings, everything. And it was the best thing that ever happened to him. If he had gotten off with a slap on the wrist, he wouldn't have had the necessary motivation to become a better person.
Don't underestimate the importance of such a large life lesson, and how you could interfere with that by being his friend or supporting him. The best thing you can do for this friend is to offer no words of encouragement. The most appropriate thing for this kid is to feel shunned by society, and have his dark night of the soul. Without a real consequence, he has no choice but to not take it all that seriously. He needs to be truly shaken up in order to grow from this experience. And that means losing everything.
bake him a cake with a file in it
Back 30 years ago when I was in HS and then college most people drove after drinking to one degree or other at some point. It hadn't been hammered into us how stupid it was. It wasn't a big city where people used taxis. We knew it was wrong but not in a I could kill someone sort of way. We tried to be sort of responsible about it but it wouldn't be until some time after college where I really grew up and realized how dumb it was even if I only had a couple drinks.
I thank whatever god there might be that I never hurt anyone whenever I hear a story like this. So I'm as guilty as this guy and can't pass judgement just because I was lucky.
If I were him I would want to do some time if it made the family feel any better or speak to HS students about what I did to scare them from doing the same thing. If I was the family, I would want his license taken away but would also want to forgive so it wouldn't eat me alive, if he is remorseful. Hatred won't bring their loved one back and the guy will have to live with this forever as a punishment. If I was his friend and he was a nice guy who really fucked up and was truly sorry, I would be there for him.
He took the life of another human being by his actions, not by accident.
His life is forfeit.
R16 and R20 are right on the money. This entitled asshole knowingly got into a car drunk as a skunk and killed someone. He should be doing no less than 10 years in prison. But because he white, and entitled, he probably wont do anytime and probably will resume his drinking ways.
OP. it sounds like you barely know the guy.
Make sure you know if he's ever on the road again and STAY HOME!
[quote]Alcoholism is a disease, and for some people, in their blacked-out stupor, they think they can operate behind the wheel of a car.
I used to drink alcoholically when I was Zach Katz' age. I simply didn't drive when I was drunk. Fortunately, I lived in a city where I didn't have to drive. Eventually I got sober.
This guy must pay, somehow. Even if he didn't [italic]mean[/italic] to kill anyone, someone is dead as a direct result of his actions.
As for Opie, well, it doesn't sound as if this accident affected you directly. Keep living your life as you already live it. Forget about Zach. He's only a friend-in-law.
Hmmm... He has to have his "dark night of the soul"?? I think not.
A certain Kennedy comes to mind.
My brother killed his BF both of them drunk. Traumatic.
He's wealthy, white, and male. I'll be shocked if he does any jail time but I think he will have to pay out in a civil suit. In 3-5 years none of this will matter, he'll be a master of the universe making a shitload of money, and will be as entitled as ever. So entitled in fact, that it will probably happen again at some point. Like I said, he won't go to jail but someone should see to it that he's never allowed to drive again in his life.
I wrote about my DUI several years ago here on DL and was crucified for it.
I suspect there are MANY DL'ers who've gotten one. Many many people have.
I didn't hurt anyone except myself, but of course I could have easily caused a horrible accident or death. Point is, I was so shamed by it (angry at myself; I took it far more seriously than anyone else did) that years later I'm still not over it.
Your friend will be in hell over this for years. He will likely never forgive himself. Be his friend, even if you haven't known him that long. Send an email that just says, hey, I know you are going through a lot, and I care about you. That is enough, and it is kind.
OP, how does he think about what happened? is he sorry about what he did and what kind of pain he brought upon others - and not about what will happen to him?
Do you know how many times it takes to get caught driving drunk? It's not like a one time thing where you walk out of a party at 4am, contemplate calling a cab, shrug and take your chances.
It is a pattern of behavior (entitled behavior) and it's reprehensible. Would you feel the same way if he shot a gun in a heavily populated public area? He may not kill anyone or he might kill someone, same as when he drove drunk.
It sounds more like you're inserting yourself into a casual friend's drama. Out of respect for the affected families, you should stop doing this.
Is there anybody here who does not think that OP just wants to sleep with this guy?
"Never heard of a drunk driving jew before this one."
What kind of ridiculous statement is this? Jewish people do this quite commonly for some reason--a Jew does something wrong, and their immediate response is "I've never heard of a murderous Jew" or "I've never heard of a methhead Jew," as if they can inoculate the group from any potential collective blame by asserting that NO other Jew has ever committed that particular wrong. It's an irritating habit that only draws the exact attention you're trying to avoid--I didn't even think about his ethnicity until you pointed it out.
I drove drunk a couple times, once when I was sixteen, the other time when I was depressed and spent my last dollar on booze. Both times I drove at 5 mph with the windows rolled down. It's a wonder I wasn't picked up.
My bf got one DUI, after he was on medications and went drinking at a bar about 200 yards from home, then tried to drive home and put his car in a ditch.
I don't believe we would have killed anyone on any of those occasions, but of course, we are not boozin' idiots like this guy.
Agreed, R55. I was Shabbos goy at a mostly Jewish AA meeting that met on Saturdays. There [bold]are[/bold] Jewish alcoholics.
he pleaded not guilty today to one count of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of felony drunken driving causing great bodily injury.
how can he be not guilty!?!? those with legal experience - is this usually the case for drunk drivers to plead not guilty? i have no idea about the legal system works.
First of all, I'm not clear on the driver's orientation. Is he Gay?
Secondly, AA teaches that the alcoholic is powerless over alcohol, so he had no control over the situation. That should count for something.
OP, there are people whose job it is to see that this man is held responsible for his actions. That's not your job. If he was your friend once, consider that he's really going to need his friends now.
My dad would be 90 if he was alive. He passed 6 years ago. My dad never drove. I never really knew why until shortly before he died. It turns out that back in the day, my dad was quite a rebel (I knew that). He was a very gentle man as an adult. When he was 16, he and some buddies went out and got drunk. Dad drove the car they were in. He hit someone and that person died. The judge told my dad's folks that he could either do reform school or the military. Dad enlisted and spent 14 years in the service.
That accident changed him. He never ever drove again.
You're in an awkward spot, but it sounds like you're friendly acquaintences rather than friends in the way most define it. If he asks your viewpoint, give it honestly. He should remember that he killed an innocent, albiet it accidentally, and that he should seek to make amends. At least he ought to make the ordeal as painless as possible for the loved ones of the people he harmed. I'm sure you feel the same way.
[quote] albiet it accidentally
You should make amends for your spelling.
the comments re Jewish folks are irrelevant...there is one long comment that is ugly and hostile. One's religious, social, racial or ethnic background should not be considered. This was a tragedy all around, obviously for the victims; in a different sense for the driver, and yes there should be consequences and there will.
I was nearly killed by a drunk driver 30 years ago. Thanks to that drunk asshole, I still have severe neck and back pain. I don't have any compassion for those who choose to drink and drive. OP - your friend deserves to be in prison.
I sure as fuck wont get into any car he is driving.
Why are people assuming that this guy is an alcoholic?
Even if he is, and has no control over his drinking, that gives him no excuse for getting behind the wheel after he drinks. Period.
omg I hope his defense isn't going to be like this guy's "affluenza," meaning he's too rich to understand the consequences of his actions, EVEN IF HE GOT DRUNK AND KILLED 4 PEOPLE AND PARALYZED 1!
My guess is that your friend is posting numerous pretentious statuses on Facebook regarding the wonderful life that he is living. He may even be bragging about a book (or three) that he's currently writing. He might even be getting "maddd" likes from people who want to be supportive of him (or for whatever reason they do it). However, what dear Zachary fails to realize is that most people with at least a half functioning brain believe him to be non-repentant, scum sucking piece of shit, and that there is nothing he can do to change this.
Nobody gives a shit that you're "writing a novel".
Nobody believes any of the fake stories you post on your statuses, especially that over the top one regarding you babysitting a COMPLETE STRANGER'S daughter that you met one day for five minutes in Manhattan.
People who pity you are the worst.
Your post that you were "alive" a mere two days after the incident demonstrates just how much of a immoral, selfish sociopath you truly are.
You deserve the worst punishment possible, whatever that may be. But that punishment certainly should not involve you being free in order to "live with your guilt" because you don't have any.
Burn in hell.
People (especially young people) make bad decisions sometimes. I assume from what you say about him that he's sorry and remorseful.
I say forgive it, but if you detect any behavior that would suggest he has not learned from the experience, I would consider cutting him off.
I know I would not want my whole life judged on the single worst thing I've ever done. And I would bet that everyone here has driven drunk at least once, and got lucky that there was no accident.
Hey Martin Van Buren, you made one grammatical error in your post. I wrote a 50,000 word novel and made zero of them. (snicker)
Zachary Katz killed someone. He doesn't care. He can't even pretend to care. He refused to admit he's guilty. Zachary Katz makes stories up and posts them on Facebook. Everyone is laughing at him behind his back. He's a piece of shit.
Some crimes are unforgivable.
Personally, a single incident of DWI is not one of them. People do stupid things when they are drunk. Especially young people. Have you cut off all friends and relatives who have been caught DUI or DWI? Or more tellingly, have driven while intoxicated and not been caught?
I would feel differently if someone were a repeat offender. If someone doesn't learn from a tragic mistake there is something wrong with their character.
I wonder if the moral absolutists like R5 and R24 have NEVER driven under the influence. I doubt they haven't.
[quote]how can he be not guilty!?!? those with legal experience - is this usually the case for drunk drivers to plead not guilty? i have no idea about the legal system works.
EVERYBODY pleads not guilty to EVERY charge. If you are going to admit guilt, you negotiate a plea.
[quote]He himself had just minor injuries
They always walk away.
Actually, they don't always walk away. Plenty of drunk drivers kill themselves.
Maybe if you blew him a few times a day, he would stay out of the bars and not drive drunk!
This is tough, however, your friend didn't do it on purpose, likely has a problem, and needs more compassion than brow beating.
I despise your "friend". He seems like one of the worst people to walk the Earth.
Ugh he just invited me to like his facebook fan page about a new book he's published called "Century Village." Everyone on the facebook page is showering him with congratulations and compliments.
HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL!!!!!!!!
His hearing was rescheduled to April 24 with a two-hour estimate. I really wonder what is going to happen.
There but for the grace of God go almost all of us. Who among us has never driven an auto while incapacitated?
Is this the same guy? If so, I'd like to know if his behavioural problems have any relevance to him killing someone - it looks like there was a nasty custody battle for him when his (adopted) parents divorced, from the link : "failure to address Zachary's behavioral problems, Judge Wylie found that an immediate change of custody to Murphy would be in Zachary's best interests."
Of course, IF it's the same guy.
I know a guy who killed someone while driving drunk; accidently hit a nun crossing a street during a dark and rainy winter night in Munich.
Why would you even consider ending a friendship for this reason? Your friend will suffer greatly the rest of his life just as mine does.
This guy is not suffering. He's releasing a book, holding parties, and his friends are congratulating him.
R83, That Zachary Katz seems to be the wrong age. Born in 1991 would be 22 in 2013.
[quote] Who among us has never driven an auto while incapacitated?
The millions of people who live in cities where there is public transportation.
Millions more who understand that they should have a designated driver.
[quote]Who among us has never driven an auto while incapacitated?
Any updates on this Zachary scumbag? Is there any chance he's going to go to jail?
People like r82 who hide behind their so called "compassion" need to be erased from the face of the earth, along with the OP and his murderous "friend."
Yes, he is releasing a novel tomorrow. But, it's self-published, so it isn't like a major publisher actually thought it was any good. He even had to pay designers online to design the artwork for his book cover. I wonder what the hell he is doing for money? He clearly isn't working, as he spends half the day making statuses about what he "overhears" in coffee shops.
Glad to know that there are people out there who are also disgusted with his behavior, and who don't understand why there are people on his Facebook showering him with compliments. The guy just doesn't get it; he's posting online and pretending like there is nothing wrong while he brags about how great he is. He really is one of the worst scumbags ever.
There are a lot of ways he can be found not guilty. Its rarely cut and dry. A lot of it has to do with involuntary acts. Like if he was drugged, had a seizure, had the BAC test administered improperly, etc. The law is innocent until proven guilty for good reason.
I'd think my plan was working purrrrfectly.
Zach Katz killed a guy.
Tell him you like him as friend, but he did wrong and deserves punishments as...he did wrong, unfortunately.
OP, if I were you I would be supportive and remain friends with him. Doing so will in no way take away from the gravity of his offense. It may not be easy but he made a horrible mistake driving drunk, but there but for the grace of destiny go a great many of us.
Put yourself in his shoes. You've done something tragic and deeply, fundamentally regrettable. (the fact that you might never have done such a thing is beside the point; to err is human and this act, though horrible, was not intentionally cruel).
Wouldn't you value those who stuck by you.
Loving the forsaken is a fine thing.
You are talking about a moral monster. He is a habitual liar who has manipulated many people who care about him into believing all manner of trumped up stories. He claims to have accomplished a litany of things that he has not accomplished. He has lied about having various serious medical conditions to elicit unwarranted sympathy. He has lied gratuitously about both imagined hardships and fictitious accomplishments on his applications to the elite universities you list. And now he has killed a man through willful negligence.
His cheerful self-promotion on facebook after such a horrific wrongdoing is sickening. How could anyone other than a monster move on so happily and quickly after ending the life of an innocent man in such a thoughtless, selfish way?
"I'm a marriage-wrecker, a gambler and a rat.... but I'm not a murderer."
William Holden's statement after killing a man while driving drunk in Italy 1966.
R73 & R82, it wasn't a simple DUI/DWI where he was pulled over, booked, and his license taken away.
Zack's situation is entirely different. He did hit someone, injured a couple people, and killed one. It's not the same as getting a DUI.
[quote] "I'm a marriage-wrecker, a gambler and a rat.... but I'm not a murderer."
Yes, he is. And so is Zachary.
I think the OP has a crush on Zack. Even though they're mere acquaintances, he feels compelled to help out and stick by Zack because of his attraction to him. That's not different from other posters here who lust after attractive convicted killers. But since OP actually knows the object of his affection, it's closer to home.
I remember one of the articles stated that Zach feels "horrible" about the situation. Doubt it, he probably only feels horrible because it is affecting HIM. If Zach truly cared about what he did, he would have donated the proceeds from his book to the family of the victim, or to the cause of stopping drunk driving.
Instead he's donating some of it to MS because his mom has it.
Zachary Katz killed someone lolz
Here's his Amazon page for his stupid book. Some people have already called him out on how he's a murderer, but what's more ridiculous is the people who defend him in the comments: "how unfair of you to blindly believe media and say he's guilty"
Please lower his fucking book rating to less than 4 stars.