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Sugar Land Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Crazy Police Chase Ends in Fatal Collision

Crazy Police Chase Ends in Fatal Collision


A teenage girl is dead after a 16-year-old boy driving a stolen car drove on the wrong side of the freeway to evade police.

Houston police officers saw a silver Kia Rio that had been reported stolen. Officers attempted to stop the car, but the driver did not comply, sparking the pursuit. The driver traveled westbound on Ruiz Street and turned onto the Eastex Freeway exit ramp before entering the main freeway lanes, heading in the wrong direction. Officers then terminated the pursuit at that time for safety reasons, HPD said.

The suspect continued on the Eastex Freeway and took the connector ramp on the I-10 East Freeway, driving east in the westbound lanes. Shortly after, the suspect crashed into a Kia Forte. Medical personnel transported the suspect and four of his passengers, believed to be ages 14 to 16, to a hospital. HPD said a female who was among the passengers in the stolen car died in the crash.

The teen driving suspect now faces juvenile charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle. Officials said more charges could be forthcoming.

High-Speed Police Chases

Terminating a chase “for safety reasons” does not change the fact that the officers’ reckless pursuit caused the young man to flee in the first place.

In the 1990s, the Department of Justice called reckless high-speed chases the most dangerous kind of everyday police work. But most police officers don’t view these chases as dangerous. Instead, they believe they are necessary tools to “get the bad guy.”

Because of incidents like the one in the above story, some police departments have permanently banned high-speed changes. Most, however, have vague anti-chase policies that give officers considerable discretion in this area. In these cases, a Sugar Land car accident lawyer can obtain compensation if the chase was reckless. Some factors to consider include:

  • Nature of the alleged offense (violent or non-violent),
  • Criminal circumstances (e.g. an officer’s suspicion or a valid warrant),
  • Time of day or night,
  • Neighborhood’s makeup (commercial, residential, or industrial), and
  • Amount of traffic.

A police violation is also evidence of recklessness. That policy could be a permanent written policy, as mentioned above, or a one-time, dispatcher-issued policy, such as “do not pursue.”

If the chase was reckless, the official immunity doctrine usually doesn’t apply, clearing the way for an attorney to file an injury claim. The claims process usually starts with a notice of claim. If the city or county makes a reasonable settlement offer, the claim never goes to court and becomes public record.

Passenger Injuries

Some high-speed chase injury victims don’t assert claims because they don’t want to “blame” the police department for an “accident.” Many injured passengers have the same attitude. They refuse to exercise their legal and financial rights because they have a personal relationship with the driver, who was also the tortfeasor.

Criminal actions blame individuals who break the law. The young man who was behind the wheel in the above story will most likely face severe criminal consequences. Civil actions, on the other hand, don’t blame anyone for anything. Instead, they serve two other purposes.

First, civil actions compel wrongdoers to accept responsibility for the injuries they cause. Ideally, when people non-maliciously cause injuries, they would voluntarily step up to the plate and do the right thing. But we don’t live in an ideal world, which is why lawyers must get involved.

Second, civil actions compensate victims. Criminal court judgments don’t compensate victims, at least in most cases.

Additionally, a vehicle collision is not an accident. People accidentally leave the gate open. They don’t accidentally steal cars, flee from police, drive on the wrong side of the road, and cause fatal crashes.

If Mike unintentionally hits his neighbor’s mailbox with his car, Mike should pay compensation (replace the mailbox). If Mike unintentionally hits his neighbor, he should pay compensation as outlined above. The compensation is higher in a negligence case because a person is worth much more than a mailbox.

Work With a Savvy Fort Bend County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.



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