Prosecutor dismisses seatbelt tickets issued to family heading to - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Prosecutor dismisses seatbelt tickets issued to family heading to burial

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  • Family gets traffic ticket during funeral, misses burial

    Family gets traffic ticket during funeral, misses burial

    Donald and Shirley Ross Donald and Shirley Ross
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Sheriff's deputies hear all kinds of stories when writing tickets, but one family can't believe theirs didn't prevent a ticket after they truthfully told an officer their sister had just died.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Sheriff's deputies hear all kinds of stories when writing tickets, but a North Idaho family can't believe theirs didn't prevent a ticket after they truthfully told an officer their sister had just died. Donald and Shirley Ross were heading to a burial ceremony in Spokane County when they were pulled over by a corporal with the Sheriff's Office. The Ross family says they were written five tickets and the 15 minutes it took made them miss the burial ceremony.>>

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - More than a month after they received traffic tickets while leaving their sister's funeral, the Ross Family of North Idaho had their day in court to contest the infractions.

A prosecutor met with the family and dismissed the tickets, citing typographical errors on the citations.

 

Donald and Shirley Ross were pulled over and ticketed causing them to miss a family member's burial

The Ross Family says they were part of a funeral procession after their sister's funeral this summer and were on the way to a cemetery for the burial when they were pulled over and issued tickets for not wearing seatbelts.

"We almost always wear our seatbelts. We just forgot this time and were only a few hundred yards away from the church," Shirley Ross said in August. The family admitted they weren't wearing their seatbelets but asked for empathy, telling the judge they were leaving a funeral and headed to a burial.

Deputies told KHQ reporter Anthony Gomes the family did not appear to be part of a marked funeral procession. The family was not escorted by a police car, their headlights were not on and the Rosses were not following the car in front of them closely, according to the veteran Corporal who wrote the tickets.

The Ross family disagrees, saying they were approximately fourth in line in a group of about 20 cars. The Ross family said getting pulled over delayed their drive and forced them to miss the quick burial of their sister's remains.

Donald Ross said he was glad a deputy prosecuting attorney dismissed the case today but is still upset he wasn't able to attend his sister's burial.

"All I can do now is tip my hat when I drive by the cemetery," he said.

The corporal who wrote the ticket was not at today's hearing and not immediately available for comment.

The case has generated national interest. The family was driven to Seattle to appear on a national cable news show last month.

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