She Said, “I Took a Vacation from my Diabetes” Criminal?


Such are the type of irresponsible, unconscionable comments that persons like Michael Smith of San Diego, California and Pat Tucker of Idaho are forced to live with each and every day! 

Bill Cosby,
“As I have discovered by examining my past, I started out as a child. Coincidentally, so did my brother. My mother did not put all her eggs in one basket, so to speak. She gave me a younger brother named Russell, who taught me what was meant by “survival of the fittest.”

“Each new life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world.” Unknown author

Where is it written that any person can play “Russian Roulette” with the lives of innocent citizens when they get behind the wheel of your average midsize car (weighing 4,500 to 5,500 pounds or more) and rendered literally trance- like from diabetic shock?  Nowhere is it written! No responsible person with half a brain would do it. However, there are increasing numbers of cases nationally to indicate that this is much more than a fluke.  Patrick Smith, 39 and Kady Tucker, 11 years young are but two examples.

Hypoglycemic Unawareness

Hypoglycemic unawareness is a condition where no symptoms are felt when blood glucose drops to hypoglycemic levels (below 70 mg/dl). If early warning symptoms of hypoglycemia are not felt and steps are not taken to restore blood glucose to a normal level, it can drop dangerously low. A person may lose consciousness before even realizing that he or she is low. There are several reasons why hypoglycemic unawareness can develop.

Having diabetes for a long time may make it difficult to notice the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Tight glucose control can lead to hypoglycemic unawareness, because repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can cause people to become accustomed to feeling low. They may fail to notice the early warning signs when they occur.

If someone has had an episode of hypoglycemic unawareness it is more likely that they will have repeated episodes.

The question is… Who is accountable – the patient, the doctor, prosecutors and legislators who look the other way, a public that is seemingly indifferent to impaired driving until it happens to them? I say all of the above. It is indeed a crying shame when attorney discretion and jurisdictional turf wars create a “don’t care mindset” because it didn’t occur in their backyard. Such behavior denies any chance of a just resolution for innocent victims and leaves family members carrying lifelong grief and burdens as well as questions that may never be answered.

The very fact that something as easily managed as one’s glucose levels given today’s high tech methods could produce criminal acts and needless death  is hard to swallow…it “sticks in our craw “and we don’t want to believe it. BELIEVE IT!

Still another case in July 2006, evoking outrage, was the loss of college students Mary Bernstein and Robert Conway. A California utility truck driver gave himself a double dose of insulin injection causing his blood sugar to drop, resulting in a blackout and a fiery highway crash in which they both perished.   Some good was yielded out the carnage, thanks to the pursuits of Mary’s mother, and there are others.

The Shattered Lives Radio team was given the opportunity to help shed light on this issue and create better awareness to the victims of such tragedies.  Is there recourse? Is there a sense of justice if such cases even make it to the criminal and civil courts?  Discover the answers by reading and listening to this podcast.


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  • Introduction to our guests
  • Michael Smith: Families of Victims of Impaired Diabetic Drivers:
  • Pat Tucker: PAID- People Against Impaired Drivers:
  • Combining crime and health and wellness-
  • Patrick Smith – The man and what occurred…
  • After the collision(s)… a “zombie like state”
  • Discussion of medical mismanagement
  • Issue of accountability…Who is accountable?
  • Follow up efforts for awareness on Patrick’s behalf
  • The importance of managing your anger as a crime victim
  • Two other tragedies  in Connecticut
  • Consequences to the killer of Patrick Smith
  • The DMV according to Pat Tucker
  • The story of Cady Tucker
  • Blood sugars of 24 versus 600
  • Details of the crash, August 15, 2002
  • Book: Traffic Safety by Leonard Evans:   How we drive is how we live.”
  • The aftermath of Cady’s death… How can it be?
  • What’s luck got to do with it?  EVERYTHING!
  • One Example:  YouTube Diabetic Driver:
  • Nerve damage and hypoglycemic unawareness Is there a warning?
  • What is the incidence of these occurrences?
  • An escalating problem of diabetes  and the American Diabetes Association
  • Mike gives an account of the San Jose accidents resulting in two deaths
  • Legislative efforts in Montana & Idaho:
  • More changes needed – Holding people accountable
  • What would be a just sentence according to our guests?
  • Pat’s desire for restorative justice
  • The international outlook: Example Sweden Vision Zero
  • Vision Zero Newsletter
  • Contact Information: Mile’s e-mail:
  • Pat Tucker  Tel:  208-569-4157


Questions from the Gallery: 

  • How is hypoglycemic shock manifested?
  • What did the Connecticut District Attorney say regarding this crime?
  • Did the perpetrator comply at all with any diabetes education?
  • What is Mike’s current focus regarding this issue?
  • What is the Department of Motor Vehicle’s policy regarding reinstatement of driver’s licenses?
  • What were the behaviors of the perpetrator who killed Cady Tucker?
  • Why did Cady not receive appropriate help by EMTs?
  • What is meant by “How we do anything is how we do everything?”
  • The NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH– What are the facts?
  • What are the warning signs of hypoglycemia?
  • What are the statistics and the outlook for diabetes in the future?
  • What were the circumstances of the San Jose killings?
  • How can public safety be improved nationally concerning this issue?

Disclaimer: The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.


  1. This is so sad. My husband was killed by someone who didn’t take their meds. They had a diabetic seizure Blacked out and killed my husband Trooper Jorge Agosto, eow11/22/89

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