Leyritz: ‘I was not at all responsible for the accident’

Waikiki takes home the title
Monday morning CC thought

Jim Leyritz sat down with two Daily News reporters to talk about his fatal DUI accident. In the first interview since December’s crash, Leyritz talked about the psychological and emotional impact the accident had on him. Surprisingly, when talking about the victim, Fredia Ann Veitch, Leyritz claimed that his car had been parked at a red light when she went through the light and hit him. If true, he’ll face a heavily reduced sentence after his trial, set to begin in January, wraps up. But the reality is that Leyritz was still behind the wheel with a BAC of nearly twice the legal limit.

Waikiki takes home the title
Monday morning CC thought
  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    “But the reality is that Leyritz was still behind the wheel with a BAC of nearly twice the legal limit.”

    That says it all to me.

    • radnom

      This changes things though.
      If he was really just sitting at a red light, it wouldnt have mattered it he had the reflexes of spiderman.
      If true, how can you judge him any different than Joba?

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

        If he really was just sitting at a red light why would it take until now for that to be said? That sounds like spin.

        As far as Joba, he is a younger man almost a kid. I still do not have a lot of respect for Joba after this. My opinions on this are not going to be the norm, but I think anybody who drinks and then gets behind a wheel are doing the same thing as a person taking wild random shots with a gun in public while drunk but it is not treated as such in our society. Because everybody does not have a gun but everybody has a car and its is socially ok to get sloshed and act a fool.

        It is not like I do not know anybody who I care about who has gotten in a car drunk. Just never happened when I was around. And I have never done it. That does not make me a great guy or something, but it should be the norm.

        Where is MLB on all of this? At the time was Jimmy not an employee of MLB? Where are they when Joba gets a DUI charge? They need to be tuff and get these guys working on getting the word out to fix things. You think with all the money that MLB gets from this they would do something.

        Also the players association is a joke too. All they do is try to get $. Great thats what we expect but when you make that kind of money put some time and some resources behind helping fix some of these problem, at least with your own players.

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          Heh, I don’t think you can “spin” a story to that degree. Either he was sitting at the red light or he was – at the very least – creeping past the red light.

        • radnom

          “If he really was just sitting at a red light why would it take until now for that to be said? That sounds like spin. ”

          I havn’t really been following this, so I don’t know.
          I just meant IF that was the case, we obviously have no idea if it was or not yet.

    • Brad K

      While the reality is he was clearly breaking the law given his BAC, who hit who is critical. I’m not defending Leyritz in any way shape or form but he should receive the proper punishment based on the facts and not who he is.

      Note to Joba: Let Leyritz’s situation be a warning to you!

      • Mike from Montoursville

        I couldn’t agree more with you Brad K on all points.

        What a sad situation.

        On another note, I wanted to announce first here on my favorite Yankees website, River Ave Blues, that I, Mike Mussina am not retiring and plan on playing the 2009 season for the New York Yankees.

        Expect the breaking news in an hour or so. I wanted to tell the fans first, and this is by far the best Yankees site on the web, which attracts the most intelligent of Yankees fans. I’ll tell you what, Jim Rome, Peter Abraham over at Lohud and the writers at ‘It Is High, It Is Far, It Is caught’ all can kiss my white, Pennsylvania ass. I’m back, baby…

        Here’s to the Yankees winning number 27 in 2009. God bless all you Yankees fans, and especially the writers at RAB!


        Mike Mussina
        From a cabin deep in the sacred Pennsylvania Woods
        Stanford Educated
        Yankee Pitcher since 2001

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          If only.

        • chris

          This has to be a joke, right?

          I mean, not the stuff he wrote about this site kickin ass, thats true.

          But the comeback for 2009?

          • Bo

            No, its legit. Mike Mussina saw fit to announce his comeback in the comments section of a blog.

            I got this great bridge in Brooklyn you might want to buy.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

            Considering you and Mike from Montoursville are one in the same, or at least posting from the same computer, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a joke.

            • radnom


              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

                Please, radnom, we’re on the Internet. I believe the proper term is pwned.

                • ceciguante

                  can someone please explain how to pronounce “pwned?”

                  the word is awful enough already, but twice as bad when i can’t figure out how it’s spoken. ah, kids these days…

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.


                • ceciguante

                  thanks, joe p.

                • http://sw-balcony.blogspot.com Back Bay Yankee

                  Technically, it’s “pooned.” The W is pronounced as if it were in fact a double U.

                  No, I’m just making shit up.

            • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

              OH SNAP!1!!!

    • Ed

      The woman who died was also driving drunk. It’s not like he hit a little old lady crossing the street here.

      They were both wrong here, and one person lost their life from it. The question here is how severe the consequences for the other person should be.

      If the woman really did hit him, then charge him with drunk driving and leave it at that. If he hit her, throw some more charges at him.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        He’d probably be held liable in a civil suit as well depending upon the negligence laws in Florida.

        • ceciguante

          i wouldn’t say “probably” to that.
          if what leyritz says is true about the red light (and it seems awfully hard to prove, unless there’s an eyewitness), then a florida jury could easily decide that leyritz was sitting in his car and this drunken woman drove to her own death by blowing the light.

          don’t just think negligence standard: think of how sympathetic the plaintiff and defendant are. leyritz is a hot shot MLB star, out on the town getting drunk (ouch). but this woman was drunk too, and allegedly caused another DUI accident a month before. that is huge for the defense. if there is no evidence as to what color the light was at the moment of impact, all of a sudden it becomes my collision expert vs. your collision expert, and the jury has to decide. regardless of the negligence standard, unless it is negligence per se (i.e., automatic finding of negligence on the basis that leyritz was over the legal BAC), the jury could decide in favor of the defense.

          NB: when a jury chooses to ignore the legal standard and decides however they think is proper — not so uncommon — it’s called jury nullification.

          the king just may get off yet.

  • Bo

    If she was drunk than Leyritz should get off.

    • radnom

      *If she was drunk and she hit him then he should get off.

      • Chris C.

        He should get off of “Manslaughter” charges. Not “Driving While Intoxicated”. THAT he was doing, regardless of who’s fault the accident was. And since there was bodily injury involved, this is “Felony DWI”.

  • Fred

    If he decided not to drink and drive he wouldn’t have been sitting at the traffic light

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      You have absolutely no earthly way of knowing that.

      Jim Leyritz could very possibly have been guilty as sin of the very serious crime of drinking and driving, and yet have been utterly and totally not at fault of the much more serious actions that lead to the death of that woman. I wasn’t there, you weren’t there, we don’t know. I’ll wait for the forensic determinations.

      If I were a jurist, and there was compelling evidence that his car wasn’t moving and that her car struck him, then I’d likely acquit him of any murder/manslaughter charge. There is a difference between correlation and causation.

      • ceciguante

        if you were a jurist you would be a judge.
        i think you meant “if i were a juror,” i.e., the people who sit in the jury box.

        as to your point, you’re correct that fred’s comment misses the point.
        if leyritz didn’t take that last piss before leaving the bar, he also wouldn’t be sitting at that light. if he didn’t have one last conversation with his buddies, he wouldn’t be at the light. in legal speak, while leyritz’s drinking may have been a “but for” cause of his presence at that light at that moment, it wasn’t the proximate cause. so, fred’s point is irrelevant as to leyritz’ liability (but might play to a jury anyway).

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Sorry, my bad (jurist-juror). Thanks.

      • Chris C.

        “You have absolutely no earthly way of knowing that.”

        I think what the guy meant was that Leyritz wouldn’t have even been in his car after drinking. I think the evidence is already in that Leyritz was, in fact, drinking.

        I think it was the Fred’s response to anyone defending Leyritz for even sitting at a light while being drunk.

        But yes, Leyritz still needs to be proven to be the faulty party before being convicted of any manslaughter charges.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          I think what the guy meant was that Leyritz wouldn’t have even been in his car after drinking.

          And I stand by my comment, that we have no earthly way of knowing that. There are millions of other reasons whe a perfectly sober, non-drunk Jim Leyritz could have been at that particular intersection at that particular moment when that particular drunken woman slammed her car into his. He could have been coming home from buying space groceries when that happened. We don’t know.

          If his impairment didn’t cause him to take any actions that lead to her death (i.e., if a sober yet unlucky Jim Leyritz in the same situation would have still ended up in a car crash where she dies), I don’t see how you can convict him of anything more than DUI.

  • Ben B.

    Maybe the Daily News changed the story after Ben posted, but I don’t see where it says he was sitting at a red light. What he says is that the light wasn’t red (from his perspective) when he entered the intersection, so he concludes that the other driver must have run the red light and caused the accident.

    There’s a big difference in jail time between a DUI and vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence, as in, there’s a big difference between “little” and “plenty.”