Opinion: Driver in fatal accident with FSU student should face stiff charges

An FSU student was struck down by another FSU student, who ran a red light. Photo courtesy WCTV

Natalie Nickchen, a 19-year-old FSU sophomore. was hit by a car and later died while crossing West Tennessee Street in broad daylight on Jan. 30. Ivey Green has been issued  a traffic citation and Tallahassee police say the fatal accident remains under investigation.

Police say that Nickchen had the right-of -way and Green ran a red light, so it doesn’t seem fair that they let this driver back on the road with no proper consequences. FSU students, who normally cross that intersection daily, are now scared.

An article written by WCTV has reported many students saying that many times they see police ride by and witness traffic violations but do not say anything. Many of these students use this crosswalk on a daily basis, as it leads them to their apartments. If these students do not feel safe to use their normal route to get home, how will they commute?

Some students have suggested the city get better signage to make the crosswalk and traffic light more visible. “It cost a few hundred dollars,” FSU Senior Dakota Bosch said. “It can’t hurt.” Bosch also revealed there’s also been a few people hit in the last few years.

As students continue to use this route, the fact is emphasized that this can happen to anyone. How many more students will these schools and families have to mourn before action will be taken against these careless drivers?

Ivey Green was driving full speed when she hit Natalie, she also didn’t slow down after she hit her. An “appropriate citation” is not the appropriate consequence when a young woman has lost her life to someone being inattentive.

Police say that they are going to do a further investigation which will hopefully lead to some type of charges being filed. Although it may have been a mere mistake, how many lives lost can be justified by a mistake? As a driver, you are held responsible for being aware of signage of any kind.

Drivers not being held accountable for simple negligence is not something that should be pushed to the side. These are people that drive on our roads daily, this is not just an issue that will only occur at crosswalks like these.

It’s important that these drivers are being reprimanded when they fail to show proper usage of their privileges. Driving is a privilege that is earned, there are certain qualifications and tests one must overcome before they can get on the road. Why should someone walk free with no consequences when a life has been taken because they chose not to follow proper driving etiquette?

There are many other lives at stake when we let these kinds of situations slide with no real regard. How can we make sure that we prevent these things from happening when we are not taking the proper steps to get justice?

Change.org has started a petition — “File criminal charges against driver who fatally struck Natalie Nickchen at FSU” to help find justice for Nickchen and her family.