A court-ordered apology to a 10-year-old leaves his family furious

PHOTO: Jenny Moore says her son Julian was frustrated by the apology letter from driver Doug Lamb.PlayJenny Moore
WATCH News headlines today: Jan. 18, 2019

A 10-year old and his mother from upstate New York have had just about enough.

The family is considering legal action against a driver whose car collided with the boy’s bike, mangling the bicycle and throwing the boy to the ground screaming.

The driver then left the scene of the accident without waiting for police, according to a police report, and later – under court order -- wrote what the boy and his mother consider a condescending and “sickening” letter of apology.

“Dear Julian,” the apology letter began. “I’m very sorry that you rode into the side of the car I was driving on Friday, September 7th.”

Back in September, 10-year-old Julian Moore was riding his bicycle along the side of a road in Pittsford, New York when it collided with a white Ranger Rover that was attempting to pass him on the left.

When Moore hit the ground he screamed, prompting numerous nearby residents to rush out to help him, according to the report – a copy of which was obtained by ABC News. 911 was called.

PHOTO: Julian Moores bicycle was damaged in a collision with driver Doug Lamb, according to police. Jenny Moore
Julian Moore's bicycle was damaged in a collision with driver Doug Lamb, according to police.

Behind the wheel of the Range Rover was Doug Lamb, 66, who had just finished a round of golf at a nearby country club. Witnesses told police that Lamb was driving well within the speed limit, but no one saw the actual collision.

Lamb got out of the car as neighbors rushed to aid the child, according to a police report. Soon, Moore’s mother arrived on the scene.

An ambulance arrived six minutes after the 911 call was placed, according to the report. Moore’s mother Jenny assessed her son’s condition and declined further medical care from the ambulance paramedics.

Dear Julian, I’m very sorry that you rode into the side of the car I was driving.

Police arrived ten minutes later, according to 911 records cited in the police report – which means they were on the scene 16 minutes after the 911 call came in.

Lamb later told police that he stuck around the accident scene for about 30 minutes, and after hearing Moore’s mother decline further medical assistance from the ambulance team, he left the scene.

That’s not how others on the scene recalled the incident. Lamb didn’t identify himself to Julian or Jenny Moore, or the ambulance crew, according to interviews with Moore and his mother. He did not identify himself to the ambulance paramedics, according to the police report.

PHOTO: A judge ordered driver Doug Lamb to a write a letter of apology to Julian Moore, 10, after his car collided with the childs bicycle. Jenny Moore
A judge ordered driver Doug Lamb to a write a letter of apology to Julian Moore, 10, after his car collided with the child's bicycle.

By the time police arrived, he was gone.

While the boy appeared to have suffered only minor scrapes and bruises, his mother said that he was later diagnosed with a mild concussion.

It took police two weeks to track Lamb down and charge him with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury.

I could never have thought, I would never have considered any legal action if he had apologized, if he had come forward [at the time of the accident

Lamb didn't own the white Range Rover, according to the police report, but rather was driving it for a friend at the golf club who needed to pick up another car that was being repaired at a nearby dealership. When contacted by police, the owner of the Range Rover told police that Lamb "had never notified him of the accident."

In December, Lamb went to Pittsford Town Court, seeking to have the charge dismissed. Prosecutors sought a sentence of community service and a requirement that Lamb make a written apology to Julian.

The judge in the case ordered Lamb to write the letter of apology, but declined to order Lamb to complete community service.

“Dear Julian,” the apology, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, began. “I’m very sorry that you rode into the side of the car I was driving on Friday, September 7th. More importantly, I am glad you didn’t need to be treated by the attending ambulance on the day of the incident. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season. Sincerely, Doug Lamb.”

Julian said he was “angry” upon receiving the letter.

“I wasn’t expecting that kind of apology,” he told ABC News. “I was expecting something sincere.”

Moore’s mother Jenny is even more upset.

Lamb “didn’t come to me or say anything,” she told ABC News in an interview. “As Julian was lying there on the ground, he didn’t come to his aid. People heard [Julian’s] scream that did come to his aid.”

She said a doctor driving behind Lamb approached the boy as he lay on the road.

“Julian thought that was who hit him,” she said. “Because when you hit someone or hurt someone, you come to their aid.”

When she realized that the driver had left the scene without identifying himself, she said she could barely believe it.

She said that when she received the letter, “I was completely shocked and I was angered and disappointed and I did call the assistant district attorney,” who told her that “she didn’t think there was much that could be done.”

“Honestly?” she continued. “I’m considering [legal action]. At this point it’s so different from what it was at the time. I could never have thought, I would never have considered any legal action if he had apologized, if he had come forward [at the time of the accident], if he didn’t leave the scene and evade responsibility -- I would have accepted an apology, a real one.

“And I think Julian and I would have felt a lot better about things, but he just avoided responsibility…and then to send that letter on top of it is kind of sickening.”