KSP Report Leaves Questions in Fatal Accident Involving Trooper

Published On November 26, 2012 | By CopBlock | Articles

Hello,

On August 27, 2012, you posted something on your site regarding Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Biven’s accident that resulted in the death of another. He was not charged nor punished for this.

Over a year has passed, and the KPS has finally released their final report on the matter. Once again, Trooper has not been criminally charged nor has he been disciplined for this incident.

Wave 3 reports:

PARK CITY, KY - The case is now closed, but questions remain after a woman was killed in an accident with a Kentucky State Trooper.

WAVE 3 has obtained a copy of the investigation into that fatal accident. It comes more than a year after Trooper Jonathan Biven crossed the center line and hit an oncoming car killing Nurcan Ceylan, 33.

The 73 page report brought closure to Kentucky State Police’s investigation into the wreck, but not to the victim’s boyfriend, Samuel Parker.

“Its been rough because it’s always the unknown, you don’t know what’s in the report, you don’t know what the findings are going to be,” Parker said. “I think the report brought up more questions as to what really happened.”

Parker was in the passenger seat on September 15, 2011 when a cruiser driven by Trooper Biven crossed the center line and slammed into Ceylan’s driver side. The accident happened on a rural stretch of Highway 31-W in Barren County.

“Out of nowhere, and I mean literally out of no where, he came right into our lane,” Parker said.

Ceylan died of multiple blunt force injuries.

KSP’s initial collision report released shortly after the crash faulted Trooper Biven for “inattention” and not keeping his cruiser “under proper control.”

One month after the accident, in October 2011, then KSP spokesman Lt. David Jude said Trooper Biven was following two other cruisers on their way to serve a warrant. But Lt. Jude declined to elaborate further saying the questions would be answered when the full investigation was complete.

“I can tell you with 100 percent passion and certainty that this will be a fair, impartial investigation that will be done,” Lt. Jude said at the time. “I have zero doubts about any of that.”

It now appears a major focus of that investigation was to find out if Trooper Biven was on his cell phone when the wreck happened. Investigators studied Biven’s phone records and the logs revealed the Trooper did make one phone call minutes before impact to his friend and local radio personality Kellie McKay.

But records indicated that call ended at 3:46 p.m., one minute before the reported time of the accident, estimated at between 3:47 and 3:48 p.m. That time line was backed up by McKay in a recorded interview with investigators, a copy of which was included with the final accident report obtained by WAVE 3.

“There was no doubt,” McKay told investigators. “I knew we were completely off the phone. I knew (the accident) had to happen shortly after we were off the phone.”

Biven told investigators the last thing he remembered was taking a drink from a coke, then the air bag deploying. The report states investigators found that coke bottle on the floor board, with the cap still on. And it never really pinpoints the cause of the “inattention” that led to Trooper Biven crossing the center line.

The reports only real conclusion comes on the summary page.

“It is the opinion of this investigator that this collision occurred due to (Trooper Biven) crossing into the oncoming lane and striking the driver side of (Ceylan’s vehicle) in the driver’s fender and driver’s door area,” the report states, something Parker knew from the start.

“The Kentucky State Police should have dug further and they didn’t do it,” Parker said. “Nurcan needs to get some justice here.”

After reviewing KSP findings, Barren Metcalfe Commonwealth’s Attorney Karen David cleared Trooper Biven of any criminal wrongdoing. He remains on the job in his same role, public affairs officer for KSP’s Bowling Green Post.

A spokesman for all things including, safe driving.

Samuel Parker has filed a lawsuit in Barren County Court accusing Trooper Biven of negligence and recklessness on the job. The Kentucky State Police Department is also named in that lawsuit. KSP has filed a motion asking a judge to throw that lawsuit out of court.

David Berman, attorney for the family of Nurcan Ceylan, indicated KSP has paid out a settlement to the Ceylan family, who lives in Pennsylvania. Berman could not discuss specifics or say how much the family received because KSP forced the family to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Kentucky State Police declined to speak on camera for this story, saying the final accident report speaks for itself.

- Accident report
- Lawsuit
-Anonymous

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  • PSOSGT

    What crime did he commit? In my state we really don’t have a charge for this anymore. We don’t have vehicluar homicide, and we do have accidents that happen like this. We recently had 2 people killed in an accident nearby. They don’t think they are going to charge the driver simply because is was an “accident”. Driving left of center is a civil infraction, does rise to the level of criminal intent. Yeah, it involves a cop, but accidents like this, EXACTLY like this happen everyday and people don’t go to prison.

  • arthur berg

    defending your thugs in blue eh pussysgt??

  • certain

    And no chance that the 1 minute difference between when he supposedly ended the call and when he wandered over the center divider is a giant pile of bullshit, now is there…….

    How did he inexplicably do this wandering? BECAUSE HE WAS FUCKING TEXTING AND KILLED SOMEBODY.

    But he will be excused because he’s a cop. What PSO, your state wouldn’t prosecute for VH if cell phone use caused an accident with fatalities? Oh, but everybody’s so sure he was off the phone.

  • matt

    it seems to me that it would be criminal if he was talking on his cell phone while driving. Isn’t it against the law to be talking on a cell phone while driving? If this where to happen to a citizen you better believe they would be charged if this was the case.

  • Chris Mallory

    He should be fired. He should spend the rest of his life in Eddyville. His family should lose any and all pension he has accrued.

    How do we know he wasn’t dialing the phone?
    How do we know he wasn’t fumbling with his coke bottle.
    Did any one check his trousers to make sure he wasn’t wanking the weasel while driving?

    He is a cop, he should automatically be at fault.

  • PSOSGT

    I like how people will pick what sentences to read of my comments and ignore others…. I’m not defending anyone cause they are a cop. As one(with glasses) could read, 1/2 of my reply wasn’t even about this cop but a fatal accident caused by a civil infraction.

    In my state I would have to prove gross negligence on the part of the driver to try and charge someone with a crime. Drunk driving is an easy one. Driving 100MPH in a school zone, easy 1. Left of center, running a red light, doing 15 over the speed limit…. not so easy.

    Aurthr and certain…and anyone else. I realize it’s much easier to simply attack me…but what law did he violate and what should he be charged with and why? Also, please include any court case that this may also involve. I know in my state a simple infraction, such as crossing the center line, DOES NOT RISE to the proof needed to charge someone with a homicide. it was a court case back in the late 90′s.

  • T

    Chris: You’re just stupid

    Certain: It’s a comprehensive 73 page report. Get it and read it. The records would be from the cell phone provider, not the police you tool. They aren’t going to fake those. No impairment, no phone or computer use, no obviously reckless driving. Don’t sound like excessive speed. And yes, if the distraction was be quad he was dialing or texting the state would most liely prosecute him. But there is no evidence of it. Again, can’t fake that it comes from an outside source. KSP already paid a settlement and he probably will get sued to. Doubt there are any protections for him to argue in this type of crash. No emergency response or anything else. But it doesn’t sound like there is anything to charge him with. And no, everybody involved in a fatality crash isn’t charged

  • Damian

    Negligent driving. Not “accident”. Most collisions are pure negligence. If you cross the center line it’s not an “accident”. An accident is out of your control. Meteor falls on your car, that’s an accident. Moose leaps out in fron of you..accident. Cross the centerline, rear end someone, hit a pedestrian? Negligence.

  • PSOSGT

    For those who don’t have google on thier internet. KY doesn’t have a no cell phone law. They have a no texting law. That’s it. It is NOT a moving violation(no points) and it’s a 25 dollar fine.

    @Matt… it is NOT against the law for him to be talking on the phone.

  • Ecwforever

    No, but it is against the law for him to cross the center line so for that, he should charged and reprimanded severely. Instead, the tiny minded LEOs keep him in charge of driving safety! That’s a high level of stupidity even for them.

  • pedro

    how about reckless driving,,failing to yeild,manslaughter,ect,,there are plenty of things to charge him with,,its rare that a civillian gets off scott free after crossing the centerline and killing someone,,, he got away with it simply because he is a police officer,,and no investigation of a cop is fair and impartial,,,come on,,,get real

  • thinkfreeer

    NOBODY should go to jail or otherwise be severely punished for an ACCIDENT, unless gross negligence or some similar fault can be proven in a court of law. There is no justice required. Some of you people just want revenge, and as they say you would best dig two graves.

    Nevertheless, what the story tells me is that the state and the other police protected one of their own, and as we know, they are professional liars, and they will do whatever it takes. That is also why I will not respond to PSOSGT, T, or Common Sense – ever. I would advise you to do the same.

  • Chris Mallory

    T, you are a thug with no marketable skills, that is why you are a government employee.

    I wouldn’t walk across the road to piss on you if you were on fire.

  • John Q Public

    Thank you Chris for yet another juvenile response.

  • t.

    @freeer: Îf that’s what this story tells you…well, I really don’t know what to say about that. I thorough, comprehensive, complete and what appears to be transparent investigation into an awful incident. You apparently just want there to be wrong doing because the police were invovlved. I guess I would just ask you to live up to your moniker. Look at other fatality or even serious injury accidents involving non-police persons. In similar incidents, where there is no clear cut traffic violation (no evidence of excessive speed, no evidence of reckless driving) those people don’t generally get charged either. Again, live up to that moniker.

  • KAZ

    It seems the officers on here are defending the cop and the copblockers are blaming the cop once again.

    However, it appears both sides agree this was an accident and not an intentional act of violence. There is a reason it is mandatory to carry insurance for driving a vehicle because if you accidentally harm a person or their property you are covered by your insurance. One thing that can’t be recovered is a persons life, and it’s very unfortunate these things happen.

    So what is fair when it comes to the aftermath of an accident with the loss of life. Yes, money for damages should be paid to the family of the victim. The person who caused the accident should be held responsible for this and by having the insurance to cover it is the best way to pay for it. An accident does not make the cop or anyone else who causes an accident a threat to society. Locking someone up or firing them will not keep them working as a productive member of society.

  • PSOSGT

    Perdro.. reckless driving?? So if I see you cross the double yellow line, I should pull you over and take you to jail for reckless driving?? Failing to yeild.. again.. back to my orriginal comment of a simple civil infraction offence does NOT meet the burder to prove any criminal intent or negligence to the point of charging someone with murder.

    Manslaughter – again, comes back to the state laws. If mom is driving the kids to school and is driving too fast for conditions(civil infraction), loses control on the ice hits a tree and her kid is killed. Should she now go to prison for manslaughter?

  • John Q Public

    Kaz, Thank you for being the voice of reason. Of course, on another thread, copblockers were complaining about insurance.

  • certain

    LOL moron, the 73 page report from the phone company only gives the time the call was made and ended. It’s the cop’s own story that he ended his call 1 minute before the accident. And that story would be, what’s the word? Oh, right – BULLSHIT.

    Or maybe he just zoned out and crossed the divider for no reason. Ever hear of Occam’s Razor, ass-wipe? It says that the simplest explanation is typically the correct one. Simplest explanation here is that he lied about when he got off the phone, and was in fact involved in a conversation, got distracted from driving and killed someone.

    PSO – Stop playing word games. Nobody here is saying jail him because he crossed the center line. Being on your cell while driving is extremely dangerous, akin to driving while intoxicated. As a LEO, he would have known this to be the case. Yet he chose to be on the phone regardless of his knowledge of the imminent risk he was creating. Sounds suspiciously like voluntary vehicular homicide to me. But, as the DA will have absolutely no interest whatsoever in proving the cop lied about when he got off the call, he will face no repercussions.

  • T

    @certain: So let’s get this straight…(for the record of your ansolute stupidity)…the records from the cell provider (an independently owned corporation….one not associated with the government) shows that his. Ell phone was t being used (as in not active on any tower) and YOU still think he was talking on his phone?!?! And you think your not stupid?!?! Evidence shows that he couldn’t have been talking in the phone, but still somehow in your head, he was still talking on his phone. Wow, colossally stupid. And as for your Occam’s razor reference…absolutely….but you didn’t follow the whole thought through…the most simple thing…that he just drifted across the center line (and in the picture it looks like maybe 12-15 inches across) is most likely exactly what happened. Wow, you can’t even get your own arguements right. Tool

  • PSOSGT

    @certain, explaining the law and how it applies is not playing word games. I’ll give ya’ll an actual case. Last winter we had a vehicle lose control on slippery roads. Crossed the centerline hit oncomming traffic and someone died. The MOST we could’ve charged that person with was violating the basic speed law – per the prosecutors office. We don’t have a vehicular manslaughter charge. Does Kentucky? Did anyone bother to even look?

    Yes talking on the phone is not a smart idea, but imminate risk?? If it was I should be able to stop anyone on throad I see on a cell phone and charge them with careless or reckless driving…well….I can’t. And even states that HAVE cell phone laws can’t. Cause it’s a simple civil infraction. How about changing the radio station? looking over to grab your cup of coffee? BOTTOM LINE…a simple civil infraction offence doesn’t meet the standard to prove the higher crime you all are beating off to charge this cop with.

  • shawn

    @T

    While I’m with you on this story, you do know that one minute is within the margine of error for such an incident? I doubt anyone checked the time when the wreck happened. And what clock did they check?

  • BJ

    These charges probably don’t apply to LEOs:

    criminally negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, failure to maintain control, improper lane change, failure to obey a traffic control device, excessive speed….

  • t.

    @BJ: There clearly isn’t any evidence of any of those things. So be quiet while the grown ups talk.

    @Shawn: We are back to the RS, PC, and BRD standards. As it appears (without the report in front of us) not only do we not have BRD (btw…its not “beyond any doubt”, its beyond a REASONABLE doubt…pesky “reasonable” word again) we don’t have PC. With no excessive speed, no reckless driving, certainly no intent, and according to the investigation no signs of any “distracted driving”. What does that leave? Looks like it leaves a horrible accident and a big civil settlement.

  • BJ

    @t. Any of those charges could and most likely would be brought against any non-LEO under these circumstances to be argued by a defense attorney in a court of law. It’s no surprise that the KSP would bring no charges against one of their own in a case where the officer was clearly culpable in a fatality.

    Police don’t care about RS, PC, or BRD in bringing charges against non-LEOs when fatal accidents occur. SOP when it involves a LEO is: bring no charges, take months to conduct a “thorough” investigation while any possible publicity fades from the public’s consciousness only to find their officer innocent of any wrongdoing.

    No surprises here.

  • t.

    BJ: the grown ups are still talking.

  • BJ

    LOL A grown up would reply with an intelligent response so in your case one has to wonder…

  • t.

    @BJ: The problem with my replying to you is that it appears to give you some sort of legitamcy. You argument / statement is so clearly wrong and without merit that I this routinely proven wrong by the very website you posted it on.

    But…

    The e idence is exactly that. Evidence. Investigations gather the evidence to be looked at in its entirety. Exhibit A would be the photo attached to story and what it shows. And what does it show? Exactly what I said it does. There isn’t even that much in the way of intrusion into the passenger compartment of the mustang…it just happens to be the what there was, was at just the wrong spot. From the minimal amount of intrusion it certainly doesn’t appear as though there was any high speed although it was clearly high enough (probably a 90-100 mph closing speed impact) to produce move the mustang backwards about 2 feet from the impact.
    Now most accidents of this sort end just like i

  • t.

    End up just like I said…no charges and a civil settlement (wow…just like this one). So now that you have proven me right (thanks but I didn’t need the help on this one)….and shown that you have no idea about how things really work and just take a very small sampling of incidents and then make blanket statements about all….the grown ups are talking, shhh.

  • BJ

    Interesting technique, claim a reply has no merit simply because it was posted here and not because it lacks merit. You appear to have a significant ego problem if you believe it takes a response from you to give anyone’s reply legitimacy.

    I hate it when people criticize spelling and grammatical errors when someone posts a coherent response but in your case any criticism would be justified. Mature adults respond with well thought out points not juvenile insults. As you’ve shown yourself to be incapable of the former one would have to assume you’re the latter.

    Like I said the process and outcome in this case (the trooper has not been criminally charged nor has he been disciplined for this incident) were of no surprise given the parties involved.

  • t.

    BJ: Again, you make nice pronouncements about things….but the evidence doesn’t bear out anything that you say. In other words, you lack legitimacy as you ignore the facts in front of you and decide that just because you want something different, there must but a conspiracy about it. And you wonder why I responded that way? Your post is clear proof.

  • What is wrong with you people?

    What is wrong with you people. The officer appears to be at fault in the accident and the Kentucky State Police will be civilly liable. Accidents happen of this nature happen all of the time with civilians and people do not go to prison, insurance companies just have big settlements. WHY DO AUTOMATICALLY WANT BLOOD ON AN ACCIDENT WHEN A COP IS INVOLVED? Cops are humans, and so are mistakes. It’s called an “accident”, not an “intentional”. MORONS!!!!

  • Ed

    firstly, we are only taking the word of whomever was on scene as to the ACTUAL time of the crash, who’s to say that this officers cell phone wasn’t in his hand when the accident occurred, just the officer, no one else. Secondly, to say the accident occurred at the same time it was reported makes no sense, if the accident was reported between 3:47 and 3:48 and the officer’s phone was hung up at 3:46 as stated in the report, then it stands to reason he actually WAS on the phone at the time of the accident as reporting of said accident doesn’t happen instantaneously. someone had to call in the accident correct? someone had to explain there was an accident, time doesn’t stand still at the time of an accident so reasonable deduction must come to the conclusion that the officer, more likely than not WAS on the phone when the accident occurred.

  • T

    @ed: Wow but that is some crazy deductions you made. The person he had been taking to says the call had ended, the cell phone company says the call had ended…but you don’t believe that and add some interesting theory to the mix. Now the officers air bag went off. And while I’ve never been in a crash to have the air bags go off, I’ve worked hundreds that have. And if he was still on the phone….and that airbag hit him….the chances of him being able to 1) still hold on to the phone when the airbag hit him and 2) somehow after hitting the other car and being hit with the airbag still have the ability and presence of mind to hang up the phone is, to say the least, a huge leap in not very good logic. Your “reasoning”, as in it “stands to reason” isnt really all that reasonable, or even reasonable at all. Your own arguements preclude your “deduction” and “conclusion”.

    Good try though.

  • R

    @T — you never really addressed in your last post the scenario presented by Ed. Here’s an important quote from the local TV station’s story: “But records indicated that call ended at 3:46 p.m., one minute before the reported time of the accident, estimated at between 3:47 and 3:48 p.m.” So, they’ve got the end time of the phone call in black-and-white, but the “reported” time that the accident is “estimated” to have happened is only about a minute different. I think Ed’s got a legitimate question — is there a way to know beyond a reasonable doubt that the phone call wasn’t a factor? We can’t even compare the timekeeping devices involved to see if they’re synchronized because one of the times is only “estimated.” It’s entirely conceivable that the “estimated” time was a bit generous – we’re only talking about seconds here – and he was in the process of ending his call when the airbag deployed. If he’s in the process of ending his call – and being distracted by it – then he’s probably ending his call like a lot of people do: arm outstretched, looking at his phone to hit the proper button. Everyone understands that even if the phone call was the primary factor, it doesn’t make him any more/less liable — but it does help establish what the hell caused him to cross the center line, which has never been established & which the victim’s family & boyfriend want to know. Without an answer to that question, how can the KSP ever say the investigation is totally complete? Also, does KSP not have a rule or regulation about personal cell phone use while driving, especially while on duty? My job doesn’t even require me to drive, but my boss prohibits personal calls on company time. Why should Trooper Biven or any other KSP trooper be making personal calls to a strange woman’s (not his wife) cell phone while he’s on duty? It doesn’t pass the smell test. If KSP doesn’t have a rule about driving while using a cell phone, even in the absence of a state law re: the same, they should after this incident, or they learned nothing at all.

  • t.

    R: Now you used the term “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Where have we heard that before? Oh, as in innocent until proven guilty”beyond a reasonable doubt”. That burden isn’t “beyond ANY doubt”. It has to be “reasonable”. Look back at the discussion here. The all the time cop haters (such as Glenn) keep offering up “unreasonable doubts”, despite independent evidence to the contrary of what he wants it to be.

    As for phone use. If its legal for you to do it…why shouldn’t it be for the officer? Phone use has become indespensible in today’s law enforcement. Most complainants want a call before we arrive.

    This looks like exactly what it is…a horrible accident with a tragic outcome. But they happen everyday, all over the nation and world. You are desperately wanting it to be more because a police officer was involved. A bias approach will lead to a bias outcome.

  • t.

    R: I came back to this as I think you might think I’m still not answering the question. Look back at my comment on 11/30 @ 1058. I will ask you…have you every been in a serious crash, one where not only is there a serious impact but an airbag deployment? As I stated, I haven’t. But having investigated 100′s, it is bedlam inside the vehcile,. The idea that the officer retained control over the phone during this incident is well beyond common sense and nearly beyond comprehension.

    Now your scenerio may have occurred. So let’s work through it. Now I don’t live or work in Kentucky, so cut me a little slack as I don’t know the statutes there. Now they may have a “distracted driving” xtatutue that if there was evidence that he was using the phone and caused the accident, he may be charged. Where I live its a misdemeanor…and simple using the phone wouldn’t violate it, even with the crash.

    Now I understand that you (and many here) are upset because this is an officer involved crash and someone died. Get it. But the thought that everyone gets charged for every accident or even every fatality crash is just simply not correct.

    Hope that answers your question.

  • R

    —–@T: Here is my response to your 1st reply to me. Your post is below, and I’ll address it point by point. I’ll do the same immediately afterward, in the next post, for your 2nd reply to me.

    R: Now you used the term “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Where have we heard that before? Oh, as in innocent until proven guilty”beyond a reasonable doubt”. That burden isn’t “beyond ANY doubt”. It has to be “reasonable”. Look back at the discussion here. The all the time cop haters (such as Glenn) keep offering up “unreasonable doubts”, despite independent evidence to the contrary of what he wants it to be.

    —–@T: That may be, but I believe there’s a reasonable doubt re: whether or not the phone call was a contributing factor.

    As for phone use. If its legal for you to do it…why shouldn’t it be for the officer? Phone use has become indespensible in today’s law enforcement. Most complainants want a call before we arrive.

    —–@T: Please allow me to break the above paragraph into parts in order to respond. (1) I didn’t say it shouldn’t be “legal” for the officer, but there definitely should be rules about proper usage. Do you not agree? (2) The officer wasn’t on the phone with a complainant, so that’s a straw man argument. The phone call was personal in nature, inviting closer scrutiny.

    This looks like exactly what it is…a horrible accident with a tragic outcome. But they happen everyday, all over the nation and world. You are desperately wanting it to be more because a police officer was involved. A bias approach will lead to a bias outcome.

    —–@T: I don’t desperately want anything (please show me where I indicate otherwise) except for KSP to completely investigate the circumstances (I don’t think they have) and offer an explanation to the family & boyfriend of the victim (they haven’t) AND institute policy that might prevent a similar occurence in the future, especially if personal cell phone use while driving was a contributing factor.

  • R

    —–@T: My reply to your 2nd response from above.

    R: I came back to this as I think you might think I’m still not answering the question. Look back at my comment on 11/30 @ 1058. I will ask you…have you every been in a serious crash, one where not only is there a serious impact but an airbag deployment? As I stated, I haven’t. But having investigated 100′s, it is bedlam inside the vehcile,. The idea that the officer retained control over the phone during this incident is well beyond common sense and nearly beyond comprehension.

    —–@T: Actually, I have. You are right; it is pandemonium inside the vehicle. I don’t think anyone has argued/will argue otherwise. Where has anyone reported that the trooper retained control over the phone? In fact, in the scenario I proposed, he could very well have terminated the call AS the airbags deployed. To the best of my knowledge it has not been reported anywhere whether his phone was in his hand, his pocket, his cupholder, on the seat or in the floor after the accident, so there’s no way to know whether he retained control of it or not. Besides, the first thing the body typically does in the even of a sudden impact is to tense up. Had he been holding the phone at the moment of impact there’s still a very good chance he would have continued to hold it throughout. Anyone who’s been in an accident can tell you that you’re sore for days afterward, even if you didn’t hit your body against any hard surfaces. It’s from your muscles tensing during the impact. Even so, that’s irrelevant. Whether or not he retained control over the phone during the accident doesn’t mean it was/wasn’t a contributing factor.

    Now your scenerio may have occurred. So let’s work through it. Now I don’t live or work in Kentucky, so cut me a little slack as I don’t know the statutes there. Now they may have a “distracted driving” xtatutue that if there was evidence that he was using the phone and caused the accident, he may be charged. Where I live its a misdemeanor…and simple using the phone wouldn’t violate it, even with the crash.

    —–@T: I personally don’t care if he is/isn’t charged. What I want to know is what caused the accident. That’s what the family and boyfriend of the victim want to know, too. And the citizens of Kentucky deserve to know if KSP (1) wants to know what happened, and (2) is going to take steps to prevent it from happening again.

    Now I understand that you (and many here) are upset because this is an officer involved crash and someone died. Get it. But the thought that everyone gets charged for every accident or even every fatality crash is just simply not correct.

    —–@T: I’m not upset. I’m actually pretty dispassionate about the whole incident. But I AM troubled by KSP’s lack of conclusions in their investigation, especially in regard to the phone call. With the KNOWN time of the phone call and the ESTIMATED (a key word) time of the accident being so close together as to raise the question “How accurate do we know the estimated time to be, or do we?” it is maddening that KSP apparently is satisfied with shruggin their shoulders and saying they’re satisfied that 1 minute is enough margin of error for them to totally discount it. I’d argue that a 1 minute margin is MORE than enough to warrant a much, much closer look.

    Hope that answers your question.

    —–@T: It doesn’t, but it did provide me with a better understanding of your perspective. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it.

  • t.

    R: I also appreciate the opportunity to exchange ideas with an adult on this site. But I will ask, really…what more is it you want KSP to say or find out about the phone call? He say he wasn’t on the phone. The person he had been talking to says they weren’t on the phone. And the phone company says he wasn’t using the phone. What avenue would you want KSP to godown about the phone thing?

    The report concluded that the trooper was a fault. He crossed the centerline by what looks to be 12-15 inches and hit another vehicle. It is a very common type of crash with an uncommon result of a fatality. A few inches either way and it most likely been a very different result.

    Its a tragedy. The KSP thoroughly investigated…as they should. But again I’ll ask, what else do you think they should be looking into?

  • R

    @T: Thanks for your reply.

    What I think is missing from KSP’s report is not an attibution of fault (they clearly say the trooper was at fault), but an answer to the question of “Why?” That’s an answer you will not find in the report. Even the title of the news story that prompted this thread is “KSP report leaves questions in fatal accident involving trooper.” Unanswered questions are the basis for the news story & for the comments on this thread.

    When’s the last time you saw a report released after an investigation into a fatal accident involving only civilians that didn’t give some reason as to the cause of the accident? Impaired driving, texting while driving, falling asleep, etc.,etc. Those are all causes that are commonly mentioned in accident investigations, but a cause is the one thing missing from KSP’s investigation.

    Here’s what I –and a lot of other people– are afraid might have happened: an admission by KSP that this trooper may have caused a fatal accident because of personal cell phone use while in his cruiser and on duty would have been devastating to the agency, potentially resulting in overwhelming public ridicule, a multi-million dollar settlement, increased regulation and oversight & the loss of a trooper who otherwise, by all accounts, did a satisfactory job. This one incident could have ruined the trooper’s life, ended his career & shaken the agency to its core — all because of a momentary lack of judgement and discretion on this trooper’s part.

    What I think KSP should look into a lot deeper is the KNOWN, DOCUMENTED time of the call as it relates to the REPORTED, ESTIMATED time of the accident. The difference is so miniscule as to raise serious questions, thus the thrust of the story from the local TV station.

    He says he was off the call? He also doesn’t give any reason for crossing the center line, so how accurate is his memory of the event? He says the last thing he remembers is taking a drink of a Coke, but the Coke bottle was found on the floor WITH THE TOP ON. Does that not raise a question as to the accuracy of his statement? She says they were off the call? That could very well be, but she’s in a different location & couldn’t possibly know how long it took him to hang up, or whether or not he was doing anything else with his phone once their conversation ended, right? Her opinion is meaningless. His statements don’t answer any questions — if anything, they raise more of them. The one thing that IS obvious is that he was distracted — whether because of fiddling with his phone or his beverage — because he can’t say why he crossed the center line.

    What does KSP need to look at further? Why was the trooper distracted, and what can they do to prevent that same distraction from happening to other troopers.

    Also, even IF the phone call wasn’t a contributing factor, it DOES seem inappropriate for it to have happened (1) while he was on duty (2) driving his cruiser. A call to a complainant is a different animal — but still one that could be handled differently and with less potential for distraction — but a personal phone call while on duty & driving his cruiser is a completely unnecessary distraction that should be prohibited.

  • t.

    R: let me go to the last paragraph first. If its legal for everyone else to talk on the phone (or drink a coke) why should it be outlawed for the police?

    As for the female that he called opinion. It doesn’t count? Huh. She says she wasn’t talking to him…how does that not matter? Glenns (and now your) whole argument was that he was on the phone. She says his wasn’t talking to her. The phone company says the phone wasn’tbeing used. No offense, but what part of that dontmyou get?

    As for the coke on the floor. That makes a lot more sense. Taking a drink, put the top on and BAM. Makes a butt load of sense. As that’s very real world.

    The report / evidence ruled out excessive speed, DWI, reckless driving, racing,. Those are the common reason for open road serious accidents (as apposed to intersection crashes). That why it leaves questions. None of those things happened, but yet there is still a falatity crash. You are still wanting there to be something more…something else that the trooper had to be doing wrong…simply because its a trooper. This wouldn’t be a story if it wasn’t a police officer involved.

    As for the civil suits and all the attention. Dude, if haven’t figured it out yet, that still happened. Their report can’t and doesn’t try to stop any of that.

  • TheNoWhereMan

    The final offical report on KSP Trooper Biven’s accident reveals more questions than answers. For example: tests of Trooper Biven’s urine revealed traces of citalopram, but found no traces in his blood. Citalopram is used to treat ailments such as depression, anxiety and panic disorder, OCD, et al.

    The report fails to explain why Trooper Biven was taking citalopram, or where he obtained it, since a prescription is required for it. Or why he had stopped taking it. (The report found traces in his urine but not in his blood, which indicates that he had stopped taking it and the citalopram was filtering out of his system.)

    So… I have to wonder if whatever he had that required medication played a factor in the accident.

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