Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

An East Haven police chase results in 2 motorists getting hurt

Two area residents filed a lawsuit against the East Haven Police Department late last week. In their filing, they allege that they suffered serious injuries as a result of police officers engaging in a high-speed pursuit of a wanted suspect on March 3.

According to the plaintiffs' filing, an East Haven woman and her daughter had just pulled up to a red light after taking Interstate 91 north's Exit 5 just before 7:30 a.m. that day. Around that same time, and unbeknownst to the plaintiff, police were chasing a suspect northbound on I-91 as he headed into the direction of New Haven.

The suspect is alleged to have taken Exit 5 in an effort to evade police. As he did, he lost control of his vehicle. He violently crashed into the plaintiff's vehicle soon thereafter.

According to the filing, the adult female suffered back, shoulder and torso injuries. Her daughter was left with a chest contusion.

The plaintiff argued that officers with the East Haven Police Department violated both state and departmental policies when their officers took to driving at excessive speeds in an effort to track their suspect down. They noted that this type of reckless driving put the public unnecessarily at risk of getting hurt. She points out that this is why she views the police department as negligent.

At the time the suspect crashed his Ford F-150 truck, he had two passengers in his vehicle. The driver himself was wanted for an assault using a hammer that he'd previously been sentenced to five years in jail for.

Connecticut state rules require officers to identify the risk that a suspect poses to the public before engaging them in a high-speed chase. If they believe that the potential for harming a member of the public is high, then they're supposed to avoid making chase in an effort to make sure bystanders don't get hurt.

It's unclear how much in damages the victims are requesting from the East Haven Police Department.

The faster vehicles are traveling when an accident occurs, the stronger the likelihood is that the victims will end up with permanent impairments or be killed. Serious injury cases require an attorney to provide their clients with strong representation during negotiations with the other side or at trial in order to get a desirable resolution in their case.

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