Police chase leads to fatal car accident in Baytown | The Martin Law Firm
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Police chase leads to fatal car accident in Baytown

You just never know. Operating a car is such an ordinary activity that most people rarely stop to think about the risk they face every time they get in a car. There are drunk drivers, inexperienced teen-age drivers, there are distracted drivers on their phones or tablets. And there are police chases. All of these drivers place everyone else at risk of car accidents.

From Baytown, near Houston, comes this story of a high-school student that was killed in a car crash at a Baytown intersection. However, he was not the stereotypical irresponsible teen. He was the victim, waiting at a stop sign. The police were chasing a pickup carrying suspected shoplifters.

The driver of the pickup had already displayed a high degree of recklessness, when in the process of evading arrest, he had smash into a police vehicle and nearly struck a police officer. The chase proceeded at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour and the police deployed a spike strip to blow out all of the pickup's tires.

Unfortunately, once the vehicle lost its tires, the driver lost control and crashed into the vehicle with two teens inside. Both vehicle burst into fire and one of the teens died as a result.

His family is now suing the city and the driver. The family alleges that the city is responsible for the death by using the spike strip, because it was reasonably foreseeable that a vehicle could lose control after driving over the strip.

These accidents are not uncommon, and one study finds that 20 percent of high-speed pursuit result in a collision with an innocent bystander.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Lawsuit: Police 'spike strip' caused fiery crash that killed, injured teens," Erin Mulvaney, Feb. 7, 2013

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