It seems to me that often the highly-reactive call is on the basis that the action of some driver was done with malice or intent. Even though in almost all cases there is neither malice nor intent.
Parodoxically, despite their error on intent, they may sometimes be correct anyway.
spacehopper wrote:I find it difficult to believe that anyone would maliciously run down another person like that, so I will assume negligence.
Having said that, the driving behaviour,was so poor that the resulting outcome was not only foreseeable but almost a foregone conclusion and I can't see any rational basis upon which the driver can avoid a conviction.
In some states of Oz (and elsewhere) one does not have to set out to kill someone. Terms like first-degree, second-degree, grievous, wilfull, with intent and so forth differentiate between types of murder.
Under Spacehoppers assessment - "forseeable" and "foregone conclusion" - something like that might, at a stretch, be conisidered as meeting the tests for murder in some jurisdictions. In simple terms reckless disregard to human life together with a "guilty muind". Sometimes what me may think can only be manslaughter.
http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/4385/what-constitutes-the-crime-of-murder-the-basic-ele.aspxIn essence, the intention to kill must demonstrate that the person has knowledge that death may probably be the consequence of the act.
There also needs to be an intent or a certain state of mind, a "guilty mind". But even that is not necessarily an intent to kill. It may be intent to cause some other harm such as as closing in to intimidate as we see so often where drivers set out to "buzz" cyclists claiming a lane, intentionally throw an object from the car intending to strike the rider, etc.
Of course, in all cases it is still hard to meet the tests for murder. But it does not have to deliberately taking a life. (My understanding is that without the intent it would have to drop down to manslaughter.)
While I am certain that I have not got it all worked out correctly (there is a lot of broad expertise here that will clear it up I am sure), suffice to say that one does not always have to intend to kill someone to be found guilty of murder.