Father Ticketed for Saving Son

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

What would you do? You’re taking your five year old son to feed ducks by the river and as you stop to choose a parking space, he hops out of the car and before you can do anything, your child runs towards the embankment, a 35 foot drop to the river. You’d do exactly what Frank Roder, of Winfield Park, NJ did. He jumped out of his 2006 Jeep Commander, ran to his boy and snatched him up, just a few feet from the ledge. As he was hugging his son, Aidan, the boy brought his father’s attention to the Jeep as it rolled into the Rahway River below.

Great story, no? Heroic father saves child. Here’s where it takes a turn into Alice’s looking glass. Union County police and a crane arrived on the scene. The Jeep was hauled out of the drink and surprisingly started right up, though Roder expects his insurance company to write the car off. While this was going on cop walked up to Roder and handed him two tickets, one for failure to produce proof of insurance, which was inside the soaked car, and one for not using his parking brake, $110 in fines all together.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Roder said. “He said, ‘If you would have taken the five seconds to apply the brake, this never would have happened!’

“I say, ‘Really? And if I did and my boy stepped over the edge and fell instead of the Jeep, then were would I be?’ He says, ‘Jail, for child endangerment.'”

Discuss amongst yourselves. My personal opinion here.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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2 of 72 comments
  • Dvdlgh Dvdlgh on May 24, 2012

    Five year old kids never get overly excited and act impulsively. Yep. Sure. You betcha.

  • Stuki Stuki on May 24, 2012

    Somebody has to pay for hauling cars out of rivers. Who else should it be than the guy who put it there in the first place. If saving his son was worth $110, what's the worry? And if he reckoned it was not, I guess he could just let him drown next time.

  • MaintenanceCosts "roughly the same external footprint as a two-row VW Atlas Cross Sport but with - per a VW rep - more interior capacity than the three-row Atlas."And this is why I'm kind of intrigued by this little van, even though for me it's in spite of, not because of, the retro styling and Type 2 nostalgia.
  • Ajla From what I can see in the NHTSA data nontire part failures make up about .5% of reported crashes and aren't listed as a cause in the fatal accident reports. While we've all seen hoopties rolling around I'm guessing they don't go far or fast enough for many negative outcomes to occur from their operation.While I wouldn't want to be in that .5% I'd also want to avoid a "Bear Patrol" situation. When it comes to road safety nontire part failures are more like animal attacks while aggressive or impaired driving are heart disease and cancer.
  • Art Vandelay On the right spec truck, that is a screaming bargain for the price. And you can buy it safe knowing that as it is a Ford you'll never have your vehicle's good name sullied by seeing EBFlex and Tassos puffing each other's peters in one...a nice bonus to the horsepower!
  • Art Vandelay Too small for Tassos and EBFlex to puff each other's peters in.
  • Spookiness I can see revising requirements for newer vehicles, like 3 years, but not for older. I live in a state with safety inspections next to a state without, within a common metro-area commute "shed." Besides the fact that the non-inspection state has a lot of criminals to begin with, they're poorer, less educated, have a lot of paper-tag shady dealers, very lax law enforcement of any kind, and not much of a culture of car maintenance. It's all of their janky hoopties dead or burning on the side of the road every mile that farks up the commute for the rest of us. Having a car inspected just once a year is a minimal price of civilization, and at least is some basic defense against some of the brake-less, rusted-out heaps that show up on YouTubes "Just Rolled In."