A police chase through downtown Florence, South Carolina (SC), ended with the death of a bystander and injuries to at least one other innocent person. The fatal accident occurred early on the morning of October 29, 2014, and the unlicensed teenager who had been fleeing arrest now faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, drug possession and committing a variety of felony weapons and burglary offenses.
According to the local Morning News newspaper, the incident appears to have begun as a domestic dispute involving shooting into a residence and possibly stealing a car. Law enforcement officers started their pursuit of the suspect after the 19-year-old had sped away from the scene of the initial conflict. The paper also noted that while the investigation into the crash that killed the person at the intersection of Church Street and Cheves Street continued throughout the day, "it appears all departmental policies and state laws were followed" by police during the chase.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our sincere condolences out to the friends and family members of the deceased crash victim. We know that recovering emotionally from this sudden, tragic loss could take years. Sadly, picking up the financial pieces may also prove difficult.
The reckless driver who seems to be fault may not have automobile insurance. If investigators discover that police officers attempting to apprehend the suspect acted irresponsibly, recovering compensation from the public safety department could prove impossible depending on how rules regarding sovereign immunity get applied. Even filing claims under an uninsured/underinsured motorist rider to the victim's own auto policy may present challenges. Seeking a free consultation with an experience plaintiff's lawyer could help the survivors sort through these issues.