Fatal Accident of 70-year-old man raises questions about police

Normally, police respond to the report of a fatal accident. However, in a tragic twist, the family of the victim is blaming the police for causing a fatal accident which killed a 70-year-old Georgia man in a fiery crash. The victim had been delivering newspapers in a job that he always loved for over 15 years.

On March 5 at approximately 1:30 a.m., the victim was driving down Cleveland Highway in Cohutta on his usual route to deliver newspapers. While he was driving, a patrol car, which had been carrying a 19-year-old passenger in a citizen ride-along, slammed into the victim’s passenger side, swerved, and then slammed into the car again. The victim was thrown from the car which burst into flames. He died at the scene of the accident. The police officer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries while the teenager was not injured.

The original police report cited that the man had failed to yield, though there were no estimated speeds in the report. But the family believes the policeman was speeding, based on the wreckage. As the patrol car’s blue lights weren’t on and 911 records show that he wasn’t responding to a call, it is unclear why the police officer would have been driving so fast in a 45 mph zone, if indeed he were doing so.

As the Georgia State Patrol continues its investigation into this fatal accident, the family has indicated interested in learning the details of the investigation. Depending on the results, it may be possible to file a claim for monetary compensation against any party deemed negligent. Nothing will make up for the loss of the man, but a successful claim may be used as reimbursement for final expenses and other damages, including the consequent pain and suffering of the surviving family as they struggle to cope with their loss.

Source: Times Free Press, “Family wants answers about Cohutta man’s fatal collision with police cruiser,” Joy Lukachick, March 19, 2012

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