Video Follow Up, Yahoo News is reporting that Paul Pelton an Ohio man has just been sentenced to 30 days in county jail. Six months ago Pelton was one of the first on the scene of a fatal car accident.
Instead of rendering aid to the victims, Pelton used his cellphone to record the accident scene, even entering into the vehicle to obtain photos of the dead and injured.
I suspect that Texas and Ohio law follow a similar track, because Pelton was charged with vehicle trespass and disorderly conduct. Absent a family or contractual relationship, a third party is not obliged to render aid. Pelton did not violate the criminal or civil law when he chose to photograph the scene rather than render aid. Read the comments, at the link, and you will see that most people believe that Pelton had a moral obligation that he failed to fulfill.
Check with your local press. After they finish tap dancing about Pelton’s unaccredited status as a journalist, nail them down on what a real journalist’s role would be in this circumstance. If they are honest, the only line Pelton crossed was entering the vehicle.
This a story that you file away for reference the next time the press gets on its high horse regarding ethics, morality, and duty. It is always helpful to have a benchmark from which to measure.