Pursuing a suspect is one of the most dangerous actions any law enforcement officer can undertake. Even with lights and sirens, officers are required to follow specific procedures, such as slowing at intersections to be sure they are clear before entering them. Regardless, there are still motor vehicle accidents that are caused by officers during police chases.
For example, alleged armed robbery suspects were supposedly fleeing from police recently in one of central Florida’s cities shortly prior to 5 a.m. on a recent Thursday morning. The vehicle they were in was being pursued by officers at speeds that reached 90 mph. As the patrol cars approached an intersection, one of them slowed, but the other was said to have been going that top speed as it entered an intersection.
The Ocoee police officer failed to slow as the lead pursuit vehicle did and slammed into another vehicle that had the right-of-way in the intersection since its light was green. The innocent driver suffered a variety of injuries that were thankfully not life threatening. She has no recollection of the accident, from when the suspect vehicle went through the intersection and when she woke up in the hospital. It is not yet clear whether she will have any lasting effects from her injuries.
The Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation revealed that the officer was responsible for the crash. This information could be used in a personal injury claim to establish that the officer’s negligence caused the woman’s injuries. If successful, she could receive restitution to help with the financial losses that are typically incurred in the aftermath of motor vehicle accidents.
Source: wftv.com, “Ocoee cop ticketed after crashing into civilian driver during chase with robbery suspect“, May 19, 2016