Jack McCaffery found guilty of failing to yield to a pedestrian

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A judge has found Jack McCaffery guilty of failing to yield to a pedestrian in the right of way. Jack is the son of University of Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery.

McCaffery was sober and not using his phone when he hit 45-year-old Corey Hite on Melrose Avenue. Hite was jogging at the time and weeks away from retiring from the National Guard. He died two weeks later. McCaffery was driving west on Melrose, heading to Coral Ridge Mall. He saw traffic was slowing, so he changed lanes. The judge agreed McCaffery couldn’t see the jogger until it was too late, but still found him guilty of not yielding to the pedestrian. It’s a situation a driving instructor called tragic but also believes was avoidable.

Chris Rowles, owner of ‘Safe Driver Drivers Education,’ has taught young people to drive for the last 20 years.

“We’re always trying to talk to kids about having an orderly visual search pattern,” he said.

That means checking mirrors, your surroundings, and your speed. He said by doing that and yielding the right-of-way, the crash involving Jack McCaffery and Corye Hite could have been avoided.

“It’s the epitome of defensive driving,” said Rowles. “You have to be able to recognize what other roadway users are doing and then ultimately make the right decision.”

Noticing what other roadway users were doing was something he said was key. Witnesses testified that a driver slowed down to let Hite cross the road and waved him through the intersection even though only one lane of traffic was stopped.

“It’s that individual who thought they were doing something nice for that runner, but in the end caused their death,” said Rowles.

Witnesses testified that the driver didn’t pull over after the crash. 16-year-old Jack McCaffery did, as did other witnesses. The whole situation was one Rowles said was tragic and sad, but also how important it was to know who has the right of way.

“When it comes to right-of-way in a driving situation, you always have to be prepared to give up the right-of-way,” he said. “You don’t have the right-of-way unless it’s given to you.”

Failure to yield is a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence Jack McCaffery faces is a $1,000 fine and a suspension of his license for 180 days. A judge will decide his sentence on October 13th.