Friday, March 8, 2013

The Truth About Paradise Drive?

Paradise Drive in Waterloo never gets any good press. The street is steep, treacherous, and graveled. Lauderdale County says the much maligned roadway is safe. Most residents say it's not. Now with two suits pending, one civil, one criminal, a judge may make the final decision.

On May 30, 2012, Cole Sellner was a passenger in a vehicle operated by Derek Ray Clayton, 28. Clayton lost control of the vehicle, and Sellner was killed. Sellner's mother is suing Lauderdale County and its Commission:

Now the Lauderdale County District Attorney's office has brought charges of criminally negligent homicide against Clayton, whose blood alcohol content was over the limit. Clayton's arrest photo for this charge is at right; at left in another alcohol related charge in Huntsville from 2011.

Clayton's attorney Tony Hughes has said there was nothing criminally negligent even though his client Clayton was drunk at the time. Alas, the reporter who wrote the article didn't ask Hughes just how he figured that after three years of law school and all.

Which suit will be held first? If Clayton is convicted will that adversely affect the Sellner family's civil suit? Will Paradise Drive ever be safe? We hope the answer to the latter question is "yes."


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