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Friday, March 6, 2009

Family Suing Sheriff’s Department for Wrongful Death goes to Jury

Just over two years ago, a 21-year-old McDowell County, North Carolina rookie sheriff's deputy was speeding to a domestic violence call in excess of 120 mph without lights or sirens. He hit a Plymouth Neon in front of him, causing that vehicle to enter the other lane. The deputy then got out of his car and waved his flashlight to warn other cars about the collision. That's when he waved a car directly into the path of the Neon where it was hit again. Two women and a 7-year-old girl were seriously injured. A two-year-old girl was killed.

The family filed a civil lawsuit against the deputy who caused the auto accident, the former and current Sheriff, and the Sheriff's Office's bonding company. The family's lawyers called their last witness this week, and now the jury will decide if the family will receive any money.

The suit states the deputy failed in his duty in several ways, including:

  • Speeding
  • Operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed without emergency lights or sirens operating
  • Carelessly and heedlessly driving his cruiser with disregard for the rights and safety of others
  • Driving his vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger others
  • Failing to properly pass a vehicle traveling in the same direction
  • Failing to keep a reasonable and proper lookout
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Standing in the road and impeding traffic
  • Distracting and confusing a driver with a flashlight
  • Failing to properly warn oncoming traffic of a disabled vehicle in the left lane
  • Directing a vehicle into the left lane

The family of the dead girl is seeking more than $10,000 for the wrongful death of their daughter, more than $10,000 for each person's injuries, compensation for pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses. The family is also entitled to $25,000 for each violation of the bond. The father and husband of the injured family said their medical bills have topped $1.5 million due to the severity of the injuries, which include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and lacerations.

The deputy who hit the vehicle is no longer in law enforcement.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact an attorney with experience in wrongful death cases in your area.

posted by Neil at 8:46 AM

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