Law enforcement is a difficult job, and sometimes requires police to drive at high speeds and perform risky maneuvers with their vehicles. However, police officers and deputies owe the public a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid injuring someone in an auto accident, just as civilian drivers do.
Pedestrians can be especially vulnerable when they are hit by a car. The following tragedy is typical of what can happen when a police car strikes a person on foot in Kentucky.
It was before dawn on April 3 when a woman was hit by vehicle that turned out to belong to the local sheriff’s department. Its driver was a deputy who was on duty. Few details of what happened were available, so it is not clear where the woman was when the pedestrian accident happened. For example, she might have been using a crosswalk.
The victim was still alive immediately following the collision. She was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead while there.
The accident is being investigated by the same sheriff’s department that the deputy involved works for. One deputy promised that the department would not make any changes to its investigative procedures. The deputy in the crash is on paid administrative leave.
In time, more information will hopefully emerge about how this terrible incident came to be. If the deputy is found to have caused the victim’s death through some form of negligence, he and his department may be liable for her wrongful death. As with any deadly accident, speed, driver inattention and reckless driving could have been factors.
Source: WHAG-TV, “Sheriff’s Deputy Behind Wheel of Car that Killed Pedestrian,” Brittany Marshall, April 3, 2014