High-Speed Chase

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Q: Traveling on an undivided highway, I saw a police car and a van approaching, in the opposite lane – both moving at a high rate of speed.  The police car was almost at the bumper of the van.  Suddenly, the van made 90-degree left turn, in front of my car.  As we collided, the van exploded, killing its driver.

A state police accident reconstruction report has concluded that the minimum speed of the van at impact was 78 miles per hour.  An expert engineer has analyzed the possible causes for the van’s sudden turn.  He has concluded that, at that speed, the van could not have turned as it did, and traveled across into my lane, unless the police car came into contact with it.

The officer has said that the van did not appear to have rear license plates and that he activated his lights in order to pull the van over.  However, it accelerated, and the officer also accelerated, pursuing the van over a distance of approximately half a mile while he unsuccessfully focused on attempting to contact central dispatch on the radio.

Supposedly, as the officer looked up from switching channels, he saw the van skid sideways across the path of my car.  According to the officer, his own maximum speed was 60 miles per hour, and the closest he got to the van was two to three car lengths.

A: Apparently, your expert’s calculations regarding speed and the ability of the van to turn are based upon information he gleaned from the accident reconstruction report and the parties’ descriptions of the accident.  Your attorney will argue that the officer acted with reckless disregard by striking the van and that such conduct was a proximate cause of your accident.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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