Judge Finds Probable Cause for Negligent Homicide Charge Against Postal Service Employee Whose Vehicle Struck and Killed Pedestrian
ST. THOMAS — A judge on Friday found probable cause for charges of negligent homicide and negligent driving against Abagail Henry, the U.S. Postal Service employee whose mail delivery vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on Monday, June 6.
Henry appeared before Judge Paula Norkaitis on Friday and public Defender Alexia Furlow attempted to argue against the charge of negligent driving, indicating that the act of reversing in that area was not negligent in and of itself. Furlow suggested that there was no other direction in which the vehicle could have traveled after a police officer under oath told the court that a nearby gate was closed at the time. The officer made the statement while being questioned by the attorney.
However, Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales maintained that the fact that the pedestrian had died as a result of being struck by the vehicle presented sufficient grounds to establish probable cause for the charges. The judge agreed, noting that Attorney Furlow’s arguments were better suited for future court proceedings. Probable cause was therefore found for both the charges of negligent homicide and negligent driving. Judge Norkiatis ruled that bail would remain as set in the amount of $5,500, which had previously been posted. Henry has also been ordered to surrender her passport to the court for the pendency of the matter.
According to the V.I.P.D., the 911 Emergency Call Center on Monday, June 6 received a call stating that a Postal Service truck had struck a woman. After a complete investigation by the Traffic Investigation Bureau, it was revealed that the pedestrian, 67-year-old Louise Jackson, was walking southward in Berne’s Alley when the U.S. Postal Service van, operated by Abagail Henry, started reversing.
Jackson was walking away from the van when it struck the rear of her body and knocked her to the ground, with the right rear wheel driving over her body, the V.I.P.D. said. Henry, realizing that she had driven over something, decided to drive in a forward direction and further crushed the victim’s body, according to police.
Jackson succumbed to the injuries that she sustained.
The case has attracted widespread attention from the community, with arguments on both sides of the tragic incident.
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