You would think by now he would have been fired, or at least had his city-owned vehicle taken away:
On April 30, 2004, Robert Rawls allegedly injured two Rutgers University employees who were crossing in a crosswalk at the intersection of George and Liberty Streets. One woman leaped out of the way and averted injury. Another had her pelvis broken in three places, while a third person sufferred full body contusions, according to a source.
That accident happened just over ten years before Rawls struck three children in a crosswalk located just twelve blocks away on Tuesday afternoon.
Over those ten years, Rawls was involved in another thirteen car accidents, not including the tragedy on Tuesday.
Now, Rawls finds himself and his driving record under increased scrutiny after two days of massive protests in response to the accident. NBC New York’s Brian Thompson reported earlier this evening that Rawls has been in nineteen accidents in 38 years of driving, according to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.
The news comes in the wake of the recent accident, where three children on their way home from school were struck by Rawls’ city-owned 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe. He was on-duty at the time. Just six weeks prior to the tragic accident that seriously injured two 14-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy, Rawls was involved in another accident. Rawls was also behind the wheel during an accident in 2013, two accidents in 2012, and three each in 2008 and 2009.
The victims who were struck Tuesday were hospitalized with serious injuries, one that has some parallels with accounts of the April 2004 incident. But that accident occurred when Rawls was off-duty, said the source. He was promoted to the Fire Director position two years later.