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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Sheriff’s Deputy Strikes Grandmother’s Vehicle During High-Speed Chase

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Sheriff’s Deputy Strikes Grandmother’s Vehicle During High-Speed Chase


Excessive speed is one of the most common causes of accidents, and collisions that occur at high speeds are more likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities than collisions where the vehicles are obeying the speed limit.  The likelihood of catastrophic crashes is one of the reasons that high-speed police chases have come under criticism.  In some cases, suspects fleeing from police have lost control of their vehicles, leading to single-vehicle crashes.  In the worst instances, vehicles not directly involved in the chase end up getting hit by a police car or a suspect’s car.  When an innocent bystander gets killed or injured in a collision with a police car or suspect’s car involved in a police chase, the victim or the victim’s family may have a case against the police department whose officers and vehicles were involved in the chase.  In order to win your case, you must show that the officers were negligent by creating the risk of an accident that involved other vehicles when they chose to pursue the suspect at high speed.  If you were injured in a collision resulting from a police chase that did not involve you, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.

Victim’s Family Sues South Carolina Highway Patrol for Wrongful Death

One afternoon in April 2022, Sarah Parson was embarking on a drive in her 2003 Nissan.  She was turning from a private drive onto Highway 28 Bypass, when a car struck her vehicle.  The car was a Anderson County Sheriff’s Office car, and it was going 101 miles per hour two seconds before the crash.  Parson was airlifted to the hospital, where she died later that day.  She was 80 years old.  Among her surviving relatives are two grandchildren who work in law enforcement; one is a lieutenant in the Anderson Police Department, and the other is a lieutenant with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Parson’s family filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office, claiming wrongful death and alleging gross negligence.  The deputy who was driving the car that struck Parson’s vehicle was Jonathan Westbrook; he was responding to an armed robbery at the time of the collision.  Just before colliding with Parson’s car, Westbrook ran a red light in order not to lose sight of the suspect’s car.  As a result of driving recklessly and causing the accident, Westbrook was fired from the police department.

If this case were to go to trial, the fact that the Sheriff’s Office fired Westbrook because of his negligence would weigh in the plaintiffs’ favor.  In practice, most wrongful death lawsuits, including those against law enforcement entities, settle without going to trial.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you suffered serious injuries in a traffic collision in which a law enforcement officer’s reckless driving played a role.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.




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