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Los Angeles, CA--"Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden's 2007 statement that a 'guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch' and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction...since Barack Obama tapped Biden to be his running mate on Aug. 23, The New York Times, National Public Radio and The Economist have run stories that characterized Dunn as a drunken driver. "Alcohol didn't play a role in the 1972 crash...The senator's statements don't jibe with news and law enforcement reports from the time, which cleared driver Curtis C. Dunn, who died in 1999, of wrongdoing. "'To see it coming from [Biden's] mouth, I just burst into tears,' Dunn's daughter, Glasgow resident Pamela Hamill, 44, said Wednesday. 'My dad was always there for us. Now we feel like we should be there for him because he's not here to defend himself'... "Hamill, one of seven children, was 8 years old at the time of the accident. She remembers her father watching news reports of the crash while wearing a sling to support a shoulder injury he suffered in the accident. "She said Dunn was always 'solemn' around the Christmas holidays. Years later, when her brother planned to get married on Dec. 18 [the date of the accident], Dunn told the family 'I don't celebrate on that day,' Hamill said." Senator Joe Biden has been falsely attributing his former wife's and infant daughter's tragic deaths to a drunk driver, and the now-deceased truckdriver's loyal daughter is fighting back. I don't know if Biden's statements are due to carelessness, his flair for the overdramatic, or his pronounced tendency to cast men as villains. Whatever the cause, his statements have been enormously unfair to former truck driver Curtis Dunn, who is remembered fondly by his daughter as a loving father. From 1972 crash still haunts driver's family (News Journal, 9/4/08):
Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden's 2007 statement that a "guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch" and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction. Alcohol didn't play a role in the 1972 crash, investigators found. But as recently as last week, the syndicated TV show Inside Edition aired a clip from 2001 of Biden describing the accident to an audience at the University of Delaware and saying the truck driver "stopped to drink instead of drive." The senator's statements don't jibe with news and law enforcement reports from the time, which cleared driver Curtis C. Dunn, who died in 1999, of wrongdoing... "To see it coming from [Biden's] mouth, I just burst into tears," Dunn's daughter, Glasgow resident Pamela Hamill, 44, said Wednesday. "My dad was always there for us. Now we feel like we should be there for him because he's not here to defend himself." News reports from 1972 said Neilia Hunter Biden pulled away from a stop sign at Limestone and Valley roads about 2:30 p.m. when the tractor-trailer driven by Dunn, which was coming down a hill on Limestone Road, hit the side of her station wagon. Dunn freed himself from the truck and was the first to reach the Biden car, according to a report by the The Evening Journal, a precursor to The News Journal. Neilia Biden and 13-month-old daughter Naomi, whom the family called Amy, were declared dead at a hospital. Son Beau, now Delaware's attorney general, broke his leg, and son Hunter suffered head injuries. Joe Biden, who had been elected to his first term in the Senate just a month before, took his oath of office at the boys' bedside. Two days after the crash, Herlihy, a neighbor of the Bidens in the late 1960s who still considers the senator "a friend," told the paper that there was no evidence that Dunn "was speeding, drinking or driving a truck with faulty brakes." No criminal charges related to the crash were ever filed against Dunn, who lived in North East, Md... Hamill said it wasn't until the Inside Edition report that she became aware that the Delaware senator had said alcohol played a role in the accident. Dunn did not consume any alcohol the day of the crash, Hamill said... As Hamill watched a recording of the Inside Edition report Wednesday, she gasped when the clip of Biden's comments from Iowa came on screen...
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