Wednesday, April 25, 2011
On June 10, 2011, two lives changed forever. Ramon Martinez-Limon's life was quashed too soon. Meanwhile, Dr. Mohammad Sarrafizadeh will live with the fact that he killed the man. Nobody argues that it was an accident, but the facts leading up to that terrible day are very much in question.
On Friday, Sarrafizadeh pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide. The district attorney's office dropped a second felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. The doctor's sentence is raising even more eyebrows. Sarrafizadeh was ordered to serve a year of "no appearance" probation, which means he will not have to report to a probation officer during his term. He simply must remain in good standing with the law. The requirement also states that the former VA Medical Center radiologist cannot apply for a drivers license anywhere in the U. S. for the next year.
Another major controversy are the claims by Sarrafizadeh that he had a stroke that led to the crash, but Chief Attorney Aaron Breitenbach says that is simply not true.
"At most, what we had in this case was a person that began reporting symptoms to his doctors after the death of Mr. Martinez," Breitenbach said. "The doctors were not able to come up with a clear, scientific explanation for these symptoms beyond the potential of a TIA or some other undefined stroke-like event."
But Dan Monnat, Sarrafizadeh's attorney, claims four doctors independently confirmed that the 68 year-old did, in fact, suffer a stroke. Monnat provided KAKE News with what he said were the opinions of the four doctors. None of the reports, however, specifically say that Sarrafizadeh had a stroke.
"In my opinion," said one doctor, "Dr. Sarrafizadeh suffered his first stroke on or shortly before the car accident of June 10, 2011."
A second opinion reads, "This study, as I understand it, was independently suggestive of a vascular dementia. Given this additional information, the possibility of an ischemic event/transient ischemic attack (TIA) having occurred on June 10, 2011 becomes even more likely."
Monnat, meanwhile, urged the community to move on.
"The focus today should be on the victim," he said. "Dr. Sarrafizadeh and his family, their hearts, prayers and apology go out to Mr. Martinez-Limon. We're also grateful to the district attorney's office for permitting this resolution to the case."
Sarrafizadeh struck Ramon Martinez-Limon, 31, near the Hawker Beechcraft plant in June, 2011. Sarrafizadeh's attorney claims the doctor suffered a stroke that caused the crash and drove home without realizing he had been in an accident. Martinez-Limon's body was on the roof of the vehicle and the front windshield was bashed in so badly it was nearly impossible to see through it.