Manslaughter Charge for Man 'Driving While Diabetic'

Hey everyone,

We ran an article about a man being charged with manslaughter after he was involved in a car wreck that resulted in the death of a pedestrian. He claims he was in diabetic shock, the police say he was negligent. Check it out here: Manslaughter Charge for Man 'Driving While Diabetic'

Do you think he should be charged with a crime?


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I went and had a look at the original article and found this:

Bear Valley Police also allege Campos admitted to being sick with diabetes prior to the collision, ignored his diabetic alarms, then disregarded his passenger’s demands to pull over and stop the vehicle.

This sentence is one big mess. What does being sick with diabetes even mean? Technically a diabetic is sick with diabetes 24/7. And what do they mean with diabetic alarms? Did he have a CGM or do they think that we have tiny alarm bells in our heads that magically go off when our blood sugar is low and there is no such thing a hypo unawareness? (I wish) And he probably didn’t pull over, because he was too out of it, because of his low blood sugar.

But all in all, there isn’t enough information to say if he acted negligent or not. The article is really unclear, but that’s probably the reporters fault.

i can barely walk when i’m low…

i take the time to test and make sure everyone is safe BEFORE i get behind the wheel…as sad as it is, if he had ANY warning signs or didn’t check before driving…i think its negligent:(

It says he must be Type 2 because he takes medication regularly. What the hell does that mean? And yeah he is guilty because he’s a moron.

I agree, if he didn’t test before or knew that he was prone to wild blood sugar swings without warning, then yes, he is responsible.

Yes, he should be charged. If you’re diabetic and drive, you need to be vigiliant about your blood sugar testing and make sure you aren’t behind the wheel when you’re low. Diabetics are pulled over all the time for drunk driving when they’re low, why should the law be any different? Driving isn’t a right, it is a privilege. What a sad situation all around.

Since he takes his medication regularly, he’s type 2? Where do they get that assumption?

One thing here Tom there is a thing called Hypo unawarness and after about 20 years of having D I got it. I could be driving after checking at a really good number and start falling FAST then have insulin shock atfter just going about 10 miles down the road. It is a nice thought that ppl should check their bs before they start dirving but things could happen that a diabetic has no control over and then …Well it happens! Been there done that and folks who are newly diagnosed or don’t have hypo unawarness don’t get it but those of us that do know how it feels. Heck I have been sitting on the couch one minute then the next I wake up to paramedics and the good ole Dextrose 50-50 in my veins!

Personally I don’t see enough information to say he should be charged or not, but I suppose that will come out in court. If he was in fact negligent, he knew he was diabetic, ignored it or chose not to manage it properly, then yes he committed a crime. In the interview he states he checks his blood “frequently” and “takes his medication”. If the facts prove he has taken all the precautions possible, then I see this as an unfortunate accident.

What I don’t see is how he will be judged by a jury of his peers. While a lot of drunk drivers get acquitted because juries can be sympathetic (most people at one time have been behind the wheel when they would at least surpass the legal limits), I find it hard to believe with the stigma associated with Diabetes, that they will be able to find jurors that understand his condition and judge the situation clearly or fairly.

This case will probably be overruled on appeal. If his judgment was impaired because of severe low blood sugar, he should not be held liable. Someone dropped the ball here, I’m guessing his attorney. Can’t believe this!

Reading and living it are 2 different things! I gave up driving awhile back b/c I didn’t want to have that happen! And I have found that it CANNOT be resolved! Before all this bs testing only testing your sugar levels consisted of testing your urine and it was only found that you could test your bs in the 80’s.

Obviously different but I don’t think this question would arise in the UK
In the Uk it is definitely the responsibility of the person with diabetes to make sure they are fit to drive. If they are on insulin or a hypo inducing medication they have to reapply for a driving licence every 3 years,(sometimes less).They are also required to inform the authorities if their situation changes in the interim. I know several people who have voluntarily surendered a licence.
You must inform DVLA
• If you develop impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia.
• If you suffer disabling hypoglycaemia at the wheel.
• If you have frequent episodes of hypoglaecemia

The advice is
Do not drive if you feel hypoglycaemic or if your blood glucose is
less than 4.0 mmol/l.
If hypoglycaemia develops while driving stop the vehicle as soon as
possible in a safe location, switch off the engine, remove the keys
from the ignition and move from the driver’s seat.
Do not resume driving until 45 minutes after blood glucose has
returned to normal. It takes up to 45 minutes for the brain to fully
Always keep an emergency supply of fast-acting carbohydrate such
as glucose tablets or sweets within easy reach in the vehicle.
Carry your glucose meter and blood glucose strips with you. Check
blood glucose before driving (even on short journeys) and test
regularly (every 2 hours) on long journeys. If blood glucose is
5.0mmol/l or less, take a snack before driving.

If someone has an accident and is found to be hypo, unless they can prove it really was an isolated hypo (and in that case peoples meters will help supply the evidence as to whether they tested before driving and also previous readings)they will almost certainly be prosecuted.

You said that well, something I was trying to say but my temper took over waaaaay to fast! Whoops sorry! WELL SAID!

I don’t want special laws in place for diabetics, but I stand behind my comment about being careful about blood sugars. I’m also hypo unaware, and I test myself before I start to drive. With the comments I read about his passenger asking him to pull over and such, it makes me wonder. He shouldn’t get off completely without consequence, but there are mitigating factors in this case.

I had a friend of mine after I said you are in no shape to drive . He answered I am in no shape to walk.

Well, if you live alone, how are you supposed to get around? I figure if you have hypo unawareness that badly, the insurance should be responsible for getting a CGM for you, and if they don’t, they should be stuck with any resulting bills due to a low while driving.

I just quit driving and hope for the best as far as friends go. I am lucky though I have my husband here along with my 2 kids not far away so that helps our loads but on those rear occasions I have called for public transportation.

I found this disturbing. “We looked at the whole case and his medical history. We went back to his doctors and discussed it with them. We went to the individuals who provided him with his training on managing his diabetes. We went to other experts in the state and even my own in-house expert. We were very deliberate in our review of this case before we filed it. It took us almost eight months from the time it happened to make our final decision. We determined that he made a conscious choice to ignore his diabetic symptoms.”

Since when do doctors discuss a patient’s medical history? Confidentiality has been seriously breached.

For all of you folks residing in the UK.

According to this article that I have just read, plus similar ones in the press - The DVLA will be assessing a diabetic’s ability to drive from October this year, 2011. I understand that it is mainly type 1 diabetic’s that will be affected by the new regulations as it is related to ‘hypos’.

My son is type 1, age 26 and has not being driving for very long. He has a medical history of hypos - hence - I fear that he may lose his driving licence.

Any news/opinions on this would be much appreciated.

Please refer to the article link:

Stephen, unfortunately, the CGM doesn’t always catch lows, because if you are dropping rapidly, it’s still 15-20 minutes behind. So the CGMs are still not an answer. And sometimes the CGM doesn’t catch a low at all.

But I do think it’s possible even for a diabetic with hypo unawareness to drive if they take certain precautions. One precaution is to have a can or bottle of regular soda open in the car and keep sipping from it frequently. Yes, you may end up with higher BGs, but that won’t kill anyone. Of course testing before you get behind the wheel is important, and people with hypo unawareness may need to be pretty high before they start, have food in their stomachs, and maybe they need to stop and test every 30 minutes, instead of every hour. (And I could be engaging in wishful thinking, too!)

The insurance company is NOT responsible for medical conditions. Some conditions are absolutely unpredictable, like a sudden heart attack, or an epileptic seizure without an aura in a person who has never had a seizure before, but hypoglycemia CAN be prevented. When Doris was sitting in the couch, I wonder how long it had been since she tested. And she did the responsible thing, and gave up driving.

I am guessing that Mr. Campos was so low that he got combative when his passenger asked him to pull over – he was irrational, at which point, it was almost inevitable that he would get in trouble. I’m just sorry that someone had to die because of it.

I have really mixed feelings about the charges against him, simply because it IS our responsibility to drive safely, and someone died because of his lack of responsibility. But I don’t want to see blanket bans against diabetics, especially if they single out Type 1’s – Type 2’s can have lows, too. But really, NONE of us should be driving while low.

Insurance companies can afford coverage damages caused by medical conditions however most people don’t carry NEARLY enough insurance to cover the value of killing or seriously injuring someone. If you have any problems of this nature, I strongly recommend talking to your insurance agent about raising your bodily injury liability coverage to a larger limit. The company I work for (I’m not an agent, I work in the claim department, investigating car accidents…) sells umbrella policies that offer $1 million in coverage for a few hundred dollars a year. It is not unusual for ER bills for serious trauma cases to run well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars as well.

Maybe the odds are slim but in cases where someone is seriously injured or killed, it’s not unusual for plaintiffs to hire private investigators to try to find out if defendants have assets that can be discovered. If there are assets, the can refuse to settle unless you chip in your own $$$. It varies from venue to venue what exactly they can go after but the consequences of this sort of event can be disastrous for everyone involved

woah, I just realized this is a massively old thread! oops!?