Law Office of Lowell Steiger

3 Boys Killed in Car Crash After Fleeing From Police

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: January 29, 2009

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Folks, today tragedy struck when a 14 year old boy went joyriding along with two passengers aged 11 and 6. According to a Fox News Report, the event happened in Fontana, California as follows:

A CHP officer pulled over the Nissan Maxima for running a red light on a Fontana street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, but the driver sped off as the officer walked toward the car, the statement said.

In a chase that lasted less than a minute, the driver ran several red lights and reached 90 mph on city streets before losing control and hitting the wall, the statement said.

All 3 boys were killed. The question becomes whether or not the police were in hot pursuit and were justified in the chase that ultimately cost the lives of 3 young boys.

If it turns out that the chase was not justified, then the families of the boys will have a wrongful death claim against the Fontana Police Department for their tragic loss.

The answer(s) to this question will be determined by the internal police investigation, a court of law or both.

Click here to watch the Associated Press news video

When have the police gone too far and did they go too far this time? Only time and a thorough investigation will tell. Meanwhile, the families of the children have a limited time within which to pursue a claim against the governmental entity that may be partially responsible for the tragic loss of their children. Could the police be trained to react differently in a situation such as this? Did they have probable cause to believe that the driver and his 6 and 11 year old occupants were a danger on the streets? Or was the 14 year old driver just a scared child that would have reacted differently if he were not being chased? What is the Fontana Police Department’s protocol in this type of situation and did they follow it?

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