Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Missionary Killed in Argentina

I just found the news story about a missionary death in Argentina. The story comes from The Ridgefield Press of Ridgefield, Connecticut.
A 21-year-old Ridgefielder was killed by a drunken driver Sunday morning while serving as a missionary in Argentina.

Matthew Scott Turley was one of two pedestrians struck by a car in the city of San Luis.

The 27-year-old driver tested positive for alcohol, according to an Argentine press account.

San Luis is in central Argentina, about midway between Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile.

Mr. Turley was on a temporary missionary assignment with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and fellow Mormon missionary, Watts Tailor, 20, were said to be on their way to visit another member of the church when the accident occurred.

El Diario de la República, the local newspaper, said the car struck the two from behind after the driver lost control of the car and crossed a highway.

Mr. Turley died at the scene while Mr. Tailor was treated at a hospital for injuries that were described not life threatening.

The driver, Daniel Hipólito Martín, reportedly fled the scene, but was captured by police a short distance away.

The newspaper said he tested positive for alcohol in his blood.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and are being handled by the Kane Funeral Home in Ridgefield.
Terribly sad news. My condolences to the family and friends.

4 comments:

Bookslinger said...

Jeff, I'm sorry that my comment in the other thread about the deceased elder scared you, and was unattributed. I realized that other readers may have relatives in Argentina, so I mentioned that the relatives had already been notified. I didn't stop to think that those with friends in Argentina would still be made anxious by the news. I should have waited until the name was announced.

Bookslinger said...

Here's the news item at the LDS.org web site:

http://lds.org/newsroom/showrelease/0,15503,3881-1-23272,00.html

Anonymous said...

Here is tonight's KSL News report:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=222391

Capt Jack said...

The man who ran over the missionary was released Friday.

The investigating magistrate said that the driver had called the Argentina equivalent of 9-1-1 prior to fleeing the scene, and thus, in the opinion of the judge, wasn't guilty of "Abandono de persona" or what we'd call hit and run.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that the driver has money or relatives with influence. The only real way to see justice done in this case is for the church to hire a lawyer, as they can do under Argentine law, and have him ramrod the case through the system. If they don't, the driver won't spend a day in prison.

Here is a translation of the article that appears in today's El Diario de la Republica:

The young man who ran over a missionry was released.
The young driver who last weekend ran over a US missionary, killing him, was released by Judge Mirtha Olga Elsey, investigating magistrate of the 3rd Criminal Court.

Daniel Hipolito Martin, 27 years old, was jailed for 5 days; he was the driver of a Volkswagon Senda that killed Mattew Scott Turley, 19 years old, who had arrived some months ago in Argentina, to help members of the LDS church.

The incident occurred last Sunday, at 9 in the morning, on the hill located on Sarmiento street a few meters from the intersection with Belgrano and ends at the intersection of Cordoba. Turley was walking with a companion when he was hit from behind by the Senda.

Police who worked on the case said the victims could see cars approaching them, but not those coming up from behind, cars that in any event should have on the
opposite side of the street, well away from the missionaries.

The order freeing the driver issued by Judge Esley was based on the fact that Martin hadn't committed the crime of "Fleeing the scene" as was first believed.
A female police officer stated in the case that the driver of the Senda (Martin) was the one who called 9-1-1 to report the accident.

Minutes later the vehicle was stopped in front of the Catholic church Nuestra Senora del Carmen, at the corner of Juan W Gez and Sarmiento.

The blood alcohol test that the police did determined his level tobe .32 grams/liter. The police report says that, when the test was done, Martin wasn't drunk, even though he had been drinking.

The head of the Traffic division, Deputy Commissioner Claudio Latini, explained that the test was done 4 hours after the accident, as that day the investigators were busy at other emergencies that involved deaths.

One of those cases was the
murder of Nestor Fabian Ojeda.
According to calculations done by investigators, when the accident occurred Martin's blood alcohol level was higher, around .77 grams/liter. However this is still under the legal limit for drunk driving which is around 1.5
grams/liter.

The biochemist Dario Serrano who works for the Criminal division explained that over time the body excretes through urine about .15 grams/liter per hour.

He explained that to have .32 grams/liter, a 155 pound person who hadn't eaten anything would have to drink 3 beers, or one shot-glass of whiskey, or two glasses of wine, or one glass of Fernet.

Spanish original

El Diario de la Republica 29 Abril 2006 Seccion Policiales

Fatal accidente en San Luis

Recuperó la libertad el joven que embistió a un religioso

El joven que manejaba el automóvil que el pasado fin de semana embistió a un misionero estadounidense y le causó la muerte, fue liberado por orden de la jueza Mirtha Olga Esley, que subroga en el Juzgado de Instrucción Nº 3.

Cinco días estuvo detenido Daniel Hipólito Martín, de 27 años, que a bordo de un Volkswagen Senda provocó la muerte del religioso Mattew Scott Turley, de 19 años que hace varios meses había llegado a la Argentina, para asistir a los miembros de la Iglesia Jesucristo de los Ultimos Días.

El hecho ocurrió el domingo alrededor de las nueve de la mañana en la bajada que empieza en Sarmiento a pocos metros de Belgrano y termina en calle Córdoba. Turley caminaba con un compañero de misión cuando fue atropellado desde atrás por el Senda.

Los policías que trabajaron en el expediente dijeron que las víctimas podían ver a los autos que venían de frente, pero no a los que venían de atrás, quienes, de todos modos, debían pasar por el extremo más alejado al que ocupaban los caminantes.

La liberación firmada por la jueza Esley se basó en que Martín no habría incurrido en el delito de “Abandono de persona”, como se presumió en un primer momento. Una oficial de Policía declaró en la causa que fue el conductor del Senda quien llamó al 101 para dar aviso del accidente. Minutos más tarde el vehículo fue interceptado frente a la parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen, en la esquina del pasaje Juan W. Gez y Sarmiento.

En el control de alcohol que hizo la división Criminalística se determinó que la graduación alcohólica del acusado era de 0,32 gramos por litro.

El informe indica que, al momento de la realización del examen de alcotest, Martín no estaba intoxicado, no obstante de haberse confirmado que había ingerido alcohol.

El jefe del Cuerpo de Tránsito, subcomisario Claudio Latini, explicó que la prueba fue realizada cuatro horas después del accidente, ya que ese día el personal de la división Criminalística tuvo que asistir a otras emergencias con muertos. Uno de los casos fue el asesinato de Néstor Fabián Ojeda, en La Florida.

De acuerdo a los cálculos que hacen los peritos, cuando ocurrió el accidente el nivel de alcohol era superior, estimándose que la graduación superaba el nivel de 0,77 gramos por litro. Sin embargo la cifra no llega al 1,5 gramos por litros que es cuando se produce la embriaguez.

El bioquímico Darío Serrano que trabaja en la división Criminalística, explicó que por hora y a través de la orina una persona pierde 0,15 gramos por litros.

Precisó que para llegar a los 0,32 gramos por litro, una persona de unos 70 kilos y sin haber consumido alimentos, tiene que beber tres vasos de cerveza de 300 centímetros cúbicos, o en todo caso 1 vaso de whishy, dos vasos de vino o un vaso de Fernet.