In 2016, the family of a woman killed in 2016 by a driver fleeing from a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state of Kansas. In the suit, it is alleged that the same trooper was involved in a 2007 pursuit, which ended in a fatal traffic crash in close proximity of the 2016 incident.
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A 66-year-old woman died in the summer of 2016 after the trooper attempted to pull over another motorist because of a taillight violation.
The motorist, fled, running a red light, resulting in a collision with the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle.
The motorist, 47-year-old David Wayne Colvin, pleaded guilty in January to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and is currently awaiting sentencing.
Kansas State Highway Patrol says that the trooper was not in pursuit of the fleeing motorist when the crash occurred, but instead, was following from a distance.
According to the suit filed on February 23, 2018, in Wyandotte County District Court, the trooper “carelessly, negligently and recklessly pressed the chase of Mr. Colvin.”
“The trooper was fully aware of the extreme danger his conduct exposed the innocent traveling public to, having initiated and pressed a similar lawsuit in 2007 that resulted in a fatal crash at a location approximately one mile west of the location of this pursuit,” according to the allegations in the lawsuit filed by attorneys John Duma and Roger McLean.
In the 2007 incident, a 38-year-old woman was killed when a driver fleeing from an attempted traffic stop by this same trooper struck the vehicle, in which she was a passenger.
The woman’s family also filed suit; however, a jury found that the trooper was not at fault for the high-speed chase.
Though, the jury did award her family damages because troopers had insisted she be taken to a Missouri hospital instead of a closer one in Kansas.
The troopers suggested keeping the two suspects at a hospital in state. To avoid extreme chaos at the trauma unit there, the troopers had the victim transported a longer distance to Missouri, where she later died in route to the hospital.
The recent suit filed on behalf of family of the 2016 victim, seeks an unspecified amount in damages. A spokesman for the highway patrol could not comment because of the pending litigation.
To learn more about traffic accidents that may have been caused by local or state police, seek advice from an attorney to discuss your case.
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