Jerry Robert Bennett, 72, was killed last week in Lynnwood when his van was involved in a broad-side collision when a woman, who was fleeing police, struck his vehicle according to The Seattle Times.
Bennett was the second driver in May that was killed by a motorist who was fleeing police. On May 12, Rachael Kamin, 40, of Mukilteo was killed after her vehicle was struck in an intersection by a man who was evading police pursuit.
Most U.S. law enforcement agencies restrict their offices in vehicle pursuit after too many long or high speed chases ended up with either an officer or an innocent bystander being killed.
According to an article we read recently in Popular Mechanics magazine, between 1980 until the early 200s, approximately 350 people were killed during police pursuits every year. Of those that were killed, approximately 30% were innocent bystanders. Many of the police pursuits during this time ended up in a crash.
A California Highway Patrol study in the early 1980s showed that very few of the people who led police on a pursuit were actually hardened criminals. In many of the cases, they were young males with bad driving records or people with misdemeanor warrants. One study found that when police stopped pursuit of a vehicle, that the driver “returned to normal driving” patterns within minutes.
It is almost in a police officer’s DNA that they want to catch the “bad guy.” It run counters to their nature to turn off the siren and the lights and discontinue pursue a fleeing suspect. However, modern training of law enforcement officers teaches them that public safety must be paramount.
In every police pursuit, officers must weigh the risks of a pursuit versus the risks to the public.
One of the factors that has changed policy is that insurance companies have put pressure on police agencies to change their polices so that they are not expensive lawsuits.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligent act of another. We will work hard to help the injured obtain compensation and the families of those killed to obtain justice.
Contact us today at 1-800-244-9087 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
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