The June 14, 2010, Louisville Courier-Journal ran an article that begins, “Louisville Metro Government has agreed to pay $835,500 to settle a lawsuit filed over the death of a man killed when a police officer struck him as he put gasoline into a friend’s stranded vehicle along Interstate 64.”

The paper goes on to explain that investigations showed that veteran Police Officer Kenten Measle was exceeding the posted 55 mph speed limit at the time of the fatal accident. The officer was off duty but reporting for a shift. He claims he entered the I-64 emergency lane to both reach an exit more quickly and in order to avoid a rear-end collision with another that car that unexpectedly slowed down in front of him.

The official crash report cites Measle’s inattention as a contributing cause of the accident in which 37-year-old father Donnie Puente lost his life and two passengers in the vehicle Puente was attending to became injured. The passengers received cash settlements totaling $535,000 as compensation for their injuries, which required hospital treatment.

Large settlements are justified for an accident in which a police officer killed a man working on a disabled vehicle while speeding, driving distractedly, cruising in a highway emergency lane (shoulder) and failing to observe Kentucky’s move over law. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and all member of the general public rely on police officers to enforce safe driving law. Citizens must also be able to absolutely trust police officers to follow all those laws.