12-year-old girl dies in car accident during high-speed chase

A high-speed police chase in California has left a 12-year-old girl dead and her parents asking questions about the necessity of such risky legal action. Authorities report that the child died in a fatal car accident that happened in Westminster. The victim died when the vehicle in which she was riding was broadsided by a 26-year-old driver behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Suburban. The crash left the victim’s 13-year-old brother in critical condition. The victim’s mother has also suffered serious wounds.

The crash occurred near a populated neighborhood, which was located next to a school zone. Although the crash occurred at 6 p.m., well after school hours, the risky high-speed chase has had a significant impact on the nearby community. Family members and friends are mourning the child’s death, leaving a variety of memorial items at the collision site. Schoolmates are also distraught, with some joining with the girl’s relatives to show their support for her parents.

Officers say that the at-fault driver was arrested for drug trafficking and weapons violations. He has been charged with felony evasion and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident. It is not clear whether that man is still in police custody.

News reports show that high-speed chases are governed by specific policies that are designed to limit injuries and damages. Officers are required to consider public safety and the severity of the suspected offense. Chases near residential areas and school zones should be taken into special consideration.

Sadly, about 12 bystanders died in high-speed crashes in 2012 alone. Those who have lost a loved one because of such an auto accident may have some legal recourse against the at-fault driver. The police department may also be held responsible. An Irvine wrongful death lawyer may provide valuable assistance, helping victims learn more about their legal options after a fatal auto accident.

Source: Orange County Register, “Mom hears the unimaginable after crash kills daughter, 12” Greg Hardesty and Claudia Koerner, Apr. 05, 2014