High speed police chases carried out in California can on occasion put other drivers at risk. While drivers know to be alert for the sound of sirens, it can be difficult to get out of the way of speeding vehicles on crowded highways. An recent incident has resulted in a wrongful death claim being filed against the city of Long Beach.
According to the police report, the officers had just begun their pursuit of a stolen van when the van collided with a car being driven by a woman. There were also six dogs in the car and the woman was the owner of a dog walking and training company. She died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash. Five of the six dogs also lost their lives.
There are issues that officers have to consider before undertaking a high-speed pursuit of a suspect. Considerations include traffic and weather conditions, the presence of pedestrians, the likelihood of catching the driver and the severity of the crime the fleeing suspect is suspected to have committed or is about to commit. The driver of the van has been charged with several counts, including murder and animal cruelty.
The loss of a loved one at any time in any circumstance is hard. When a person is going about one’s daily business in California and is unexpectedly caught up in a situation like a high-speed chase that leads to his or her death, the shock to a family and loved ones can be devastating. A conversation with a personal injury attorney can help inform a client as to whether a wrongful death lawsuit is a viable option, who to name as defendant/s and how to proceed.