Baltimore, MD — A tragedy unfolded in Maryland this month when Berlynn Matthews, 21, stopped to help Joshua Day, 34, who had been struck by a vehicle while crossing the road. Tragically, as Matthews rendered aid to Day, a man whose job consists of locking people up for driving drunk, came by driving drunk, and killed them both.
Three days after Matthews and Day were killed on the roadside, Baltimore County Police Department disclosed that Baltimore County Police Officer William Collazo-Brown, 24, was the person responsible for their deaths.
Collazo-Brown’s police powers were suspended and he was subsequently fired after investigators said he was the driver of a Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle that was used to kill Matthews and Day.
“Police are in the process of reviewing this case,” said Joy Lepola, with Baltimore County Police. “As you might imagine, this is an extremely complex case which will take a great deal of investigating.”
According to Patch.com:
According to the Baltimore County Police Department, a motorist driving a Subaru Legacy southbound on North Point Boulevard hit 34-year-old Joshua Day of the 2600 block of Edgemere Avenue while Day was walking westbound across North Point Boulevard. The driver pulled over and stopped the vehicle on the east edge of North Point Blvd.
A second motorist driving by the crash saw Day in the roadway and stopped on the west edge of North Point Blvd. When Berlynn Matthews, 21, of the 400 block of Nollmeyer Road, walked into the road to assist Day, she was hit and killed by Collazo-Brown who also hit and killed Day, police said.
Friends of Matthews said it was commonplace for this 21-year-old young woman to frequently reach out to those in need and help them. Friends of Day said he was the same.
“My sister called me — I guess it was about 7:30 in the morning — that the police officers needed to talk to me,” Day’s aunt, Wendy Edenton told WBAL. “He was a happy-go-lucky person, always helping out the neighbors.”
“Really anybody is used to seeing him walk down the street and asking him for help, and everything, and when we’re not seeing that anymore, it’s a shock,” said Day’s neighbor and friend, Alexis Welzenbach.
Edenton said she’s keeping Matthews and her family in her thoughts.
“My heart goes out to them,” Edenton said. “She tried to get out and tried to save my nephew and she also got her life taken away.”
Unfortunately, those tasked with enforcing DUI laws are often the heaviest of offenders thanks to their special privilege under the law. The term ‘blue privilege’ exists and is well known because police officers will commit crimes, often far worse than civilians, and face little to no consequences. This is especially common among traffic offenses like speeding and driving under the influence (DUI).
In one example, Breckinridge County Sheriff Todd Pate was arrested after crashing his car into a woman while drunk out of his mind. According to the police report, Pate could barely talk, had bloodshot eyes, and had trouble even standing up. The report noted he had “blood shot eyes,” “slurred speech,” was “unsteady on his feet,” and smelled a “strong odor of alcohol.” When administered a breathalyzer, the sheriff blew twice the legal limit.
The police report also noted that the arresting officer caught Pate hiding beer bottles in the woods after he crashed. Instead of rendering aid to his victim, the sheriff took to destroying evidence. The woman driving the car that Pate smashed into had to be rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Pate suffered only minor scrapes.
After the crash it was revealed that 20 minutes prior, Pate had been stopped for swerving all over the road. However, because he was a cop, he was let go only to nearly kill a woman minutes later.
What’s more, Pate was arrested several years prior, also for drunk driving and threatening to kill his wife. However, nothing ever came of it and not only was he not jailed, but he was allowed to remain sheriff.