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Fatal driver faces new traffic charge

Published Oct. 9, 2005

Last year, John F. Pink, a former probation officer, was sentenced to house arrest and probation for vehicular homicide. By "not paying attention," he caused the death of a woman and her 2-year-old boy.

On Monday, his case came back to court _ for careless driving.

Pink, who lives in Palm Harbor, has been going through the court system since 1989, when he ran a red light on Keene Road during morning rush hour and crashed into a car driven by Sheila Glover, who was eight months pregnant. The impact killed Ms. Glover and the fetus, and Ms. Glover's 2-year-old son died two months later.

"This just shows how guilty he was then," said Dorothy Glover, Sheila Glover's mother. "It just proves itself again that he doesn't pay attention when he drives."

Pink, 42, was arraigned Monday for a charge of violation of probation, which occurred, officials say, on March 19 when he was involved in a seven-car pile-up in Pasco County and charged with careless driving by the Florida Highway Patrol.

When Mrs. Glover found out what charge Pink is accused of, she couldn't believe it.

"Everybody wanted to give him a second chance, but how many chances does he need?" she said.

In March 1992, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Helen S. Hansel sentenced Pink to 10 days in the county jail, followed by four years of house arrest and two years of probation after that. His driver's license was also revoked for three years.

Pink had a valid driver's license or he would have been charged with that as well, said Ike Brown, circuit administrator for the Department of Corrections probation department. State motor vehicle records show it was restored 2{ months after it was revoked.

At Pink's sentencing in 1992, Hansel weighed the seriousness of the crime and the grief of Sheila Glover's family. Hansel also considered Pink's remorse, his lack of a criminal record and written pleas for leniency from dozens of people.

Ms. Glover's 9-year-old son, Lamar, had asked the judge to give Pink the death penalty for taking away his mother, and the judge tried to soothe him as well as teach him about the justice system.

"I hope Lamar would grow up to understand that the punishment has got to fit the crime," Hansel said. The system "is not, as many think, to reap vengeance on behalf of the victims. Our system is not of a nature of an eye for an eye. Our system is intended to punish those who act deliberately. It's to deter those who would act in the same way or who may unthinkingly act in the same way in the future."

With this second accident, Ms. Glover's family is beginning to wonder.

"Hasn't he had enough? He killed two people and an unborn child the first time," Mrs. Glover said. "If there were no injuries this time, he's lucky. Next time, he may not be: It may be him that's hurt."

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