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Belmont, North Carolina (NC) Woman Fights for Changes

What Happened

An accident took place one year ago that killed Ellen Deitz Tucker’s sister when a man on the run sped through a police checkpoint and struck her sister’s vehicle. The accident can be clearly seen from a dash camera in the squad car that pursued the at-fault driver.

"I want to prevent other people from being killed," said Tucker. She has submitted a draft to change the police pursuit policy. Her draft states officers cannot chase a car unless there is an immediate death threat to others.

Police Chief Charlie Franklin said “he will review the draft but there comes times when we have to pursue people and bad things happen sometimes.”

The North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers’ Perspective

Almost 50 percent of all police chases end in accidents, and that high percentage involves many deaths from injury. We all want the police to catch the bad guy, but sometimes people with no criminal background are chased because they failed to pull over. It is up to the law enforcement official to make a decision to pursue a suspect or not in order to serve the greater good. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 360 people are killed every year in police pursuits and one third of those killed are innocent bystanders. Police have a duty to act with due care for the safety of others, if an officer failed to serve that duty and caused injury or death to innocent bystanders he may be found negligent. If a loved one has been involved in this type of accident do not hesitate to contact a North Carolina (NC) wrongful death lawyer. These are intricate and often challenging cases that require the attention of experienced trial lawyers who know how to pursue recovery from city and government agencies. In 2008 our firm represented a husband and wife that were struck head on by a police officer. During a pretrial investigation we found that one year prior to the accident, the defendant police officer had been diagnosed with sleep apnea and had been noncompliant with his doctor’s recommendation for treatment. The case was settled in mediation shortly before the scheduled trial and our clients received appropriate restitution.


Potentially Helpful Info:

Our firm published an in-depth legal guide on what to do when you’re seriously injured in a car wreck in Virginia. Read it here.

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