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Del. Bell charged with reckless driving after ‘minor fender bender;’ delegate to challenge charge

Del. John Bell (D-87th)
First-term Del. John Bell (D-87th) was cited for reckless driving Oct. 20, a charge his campaign is calling “baseless” due to the nature of the minor collision.

"Delegate Bell was in a minor fender bender where he bumped into the car in front of him in stop-and-go traffic at less than five miles per hour,” Bell campaign spokeswoman Jacqueline Hixon said Friday. “The damage to the other vehicle was very minimal, the airbags did not deploy, and no one was injured. The deputy sheriff who did not witness the collision cited Del. Bell with 'Reckless (Improper)' and cited the other driver for driving without a valid operators license.”

Hixon said no insurance claims have been filed by the other party.

“The charge is baseless, and the delegate plans to challenge the citation in court. At no point was Del. Bell speeding,” she said.

An adjudicatory hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2018, in Loudoun County General District Court.

An incident report from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office states Eda Del Carmen Ramos-Reyes, 23, of Sterling, was driving a 2010 Ford Escape around noon Oct. 20 when Ramos-Reyes stopped for another vehicle that stopped for a cyclist crossing the roadway at the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.

Bell, who was driving a 2017 Ford C-Max, rear-ended the stopped Ford Escape.

In addition to Bell's reckless driving charge -- the citation of which is marked "improper" by the responding officer -- Ramos-Reyes was charged with driving without a license.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

The other car after it was struck by Del. John Bell's vehicle. (The picture has been altered to hide the license plate.) Courtesy Photo


Only the Clintons are above the law. Sorry, Delegate.

“Reckless?”  I agree. By definition, that word does not fit in describing this accident-we are talking the English language, here.  It is rampant that our Sheriff deputies tag on too many and too harsh charges to get their numbers up.  I have actually heard in court one person who asked a deputy in court why he tagged on so many violations-including ones that were way off the mark, and the Deputy said, under oath,  it was his job too write up the charges, and the court’s job to figure it all out.

That attitude towards those actions creates a dysfunctional system. 

John Bell’s day is going to get a lot worse tomorrow.

Subba! Subba!  Subba!

Good thing he didn’t charge through an intersection, kill a baby, injure the mom, and immediately call his lawyer…he might have gotten a real slap on the wrist then.

Seriously, we’re going to tie up taxpayer resources dealing with a 5mph fender bender…you don’t suppose any of the outrage here has anything to do with his affiliation, do you?

My reading comprehension isn’t what it used to be, but for the life of me, I can’t see where it says Delegate Bell is seeking “special treatment”, as suggested by SGP.  I read that Del. Bell plans to challenge the citation in court, the same right that every single person has in this country.  Why this is in the news is beyond me, but I see nothing nefarious going on…

This is the same charge I received in Leesburg after an almost identical accident in March 2015.

Agree with thetruthhurts. The only way we can get a government that is not completely corrupt is by refusing to elect individuals who believe they are above the law. Nobody can honestly deny Bell believes he is above the law based on his actions. It is not the accident that is disqualifying, but his request for special treatment. Throw the bum out.

To begin Mr. McHale Loudoun County Deputies cannot charge fail to pay attention as that is an ordinance in Fairfax County. Efforts have been made at the state level to create an improper driving code, without success which maybe Mr. Bell should take note of.

To state the facts there is a difference between reckless driving and improper driving. Deputies are unable to charge improper driving on scene.  In order to inform the judge it is notated on Mr. Bell’s summons. The deputies intention is to seek an improper driving infraction not a reckless driving misdemeanor. And to further educate here is the code section for improper driving…

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, upon the trial of any person charged with reckless driving where the degree of culpability is slight, the court in its discretion may find the accused not guilty of reckless driving but guilty of improper driving. However, an attorney for the Commonwealth may reduce a charge of reckless driving to improper driving at any time prior to the court’s decision and shall notify the court of such change. Improper driving shall be punishable as a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

And further why does “Del. Bell” believe that he is above the law. Any average citizen getting into an automobile crash would be cited with the exact same thing without calls to the Sheriff’s Office. Why does he believe that he is immune to a traffic citation? He has basically proven the case for “slight culpability” by his own admission stating that traffic was stop and go at 5 mph. Yet somehow he still couldn’t stop without hitting the car in front of him, causing damage to not only the bumper but the hatch of the vehicle. And this is proven with the picture that was provided for the article. Also, Ms. Hixon how is the charge baseless when he ran into the back of another car. By anybody’s definition that is considered an automobile crash.

I would hope that the calls to the Sheriff’s Office are not causing extra stress for the deputy (who’s jobs already hard enough) who was only doing his job, equally and fairly to all…you’re not immune Mr. Bell.

Shouldn’t have been a ticket at all for this ...

Injuries in whiplash related accident, even minor, can take days and weeks to surface. The statute of limitations to file for a civil claim is two years in the commonwealth of Virginia. At this point, as in reading this comment, you don’t know if the other person has sought medical treatment. Victims in auto accidents are always the bad guys by the other drivers and insurance industry, especially when you go to court (not when you watch the commercials and read these articles).

Failure to pay attention I can understand, but reckless seems a stretch.  Will be interesting to hear the officer’s side of the story.

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