Ian Smith, the co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, has been a repeat guest on Fox News, who has amplified his demands that his business be allowed to reopen despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith’s gym was the focus of live coverage on Fox & Friends, as conservative protesters gathered to voice their displeasure with lockdown measures put in place by the New Jersey government.
He was arrested for defying lockdown orders issued by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) then given sympathetic coverage on the network.
Smith killed 19-year-old Kevin Ade in 2007 when he hit the teenager with his car.
Smith “failed to stop at a stop sign and slammed into the driver’s side door of Ade’s car,” the Press of Atlantic City reported. “The impact rolled Ade’s car onto its side and pushed it until the roof hit a tree.”
“Ade was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy determined he died from multiple traumatic injuries.”
Smith pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and in 2008 was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison.
In a recently posted Instagram video, Smith said he was drinking on the morning of the accident.
Members of the teenagers family say his push to reopen his gym in the middle of a major health crisis shows that he continues to endanger lives.
“He already killed somebody and now he’s going to put other people’s lives in jeopardy by opening the gym,” Robert Henchy, Ade’s uncle, told NJ.com.
Beth Henchy, Ade’s aunt and a radiology technician, had similar feelings.
“Maybe he should come hang out with me and my coworkers” dealing with COVID-19 patients she noted.
Fox News has been a driving force behind anti-lockdown protesters, an initiative that has coincided with the network’s repeated airing of disinformation, lies, and distortions regarding the pandemic.