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Police Chases Causing Accidents in Oakland Park and Elsewhere — Officer Charges Oftentimes Dismissed

Police chases are causing some serious injuries and death in car accidents in Oakland Park and elsewhere in Florida. Recently, a 21-year-old woman was hit at an intersection by a Broward Sheriff’s Deputy.

Reports of the accident indicate that the police cruiser went from 24 to 87 miles per hours in just 24 seconds. As the young driver attempted to make a left turn at Dixie Highway, her vehicle was T-boned by the deputy’s car. The impact was so severe that her car was cut in half. The accident threw her car nearly 100 yards. The driver’s sister was in the car when the accident happened. She was thrown nearly 40 feet from the accident site. Records reports that the officer was speeding to a traffic stop regarding a burned-out tail light, according to the Sun Sentinel.

“I couldn’t see very well because I was bleeding from my eye,” the driver was quoted as saying.

Our Oakland Park car accident attorneys understand that the deputy involved in the accident was fired and is awaiting charges of reckless driving and vehicular homicide. These consequences aren’t typically the case though when officers are involved. They’re often released. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only fatal accident in Florida involving a police chase or speeding officer. If you’re ever involved in a car accident with a police car, a fire truck or another type of official vehicle, you’re going to need vigilant representation. These kinds of accidents put police in charge of investigating their own. On average, police chases kill at least three innocent bystanders every week in the U.S. This number jumps from 3 to 5 when added with the number of fatalities due to police response calls.

There have been more than 20 people killed in the state of Florida since 2004 because of police chases.

“Most people agree that these pursuits should be controlled. Yet, researchers note a widespread lack of accurate data on the subject. The lack of a mandatory reporting system hampers attempts by NHTSA to track pursuit fatalities and results in the collection of as little as one-half of the actual data.” said John Hill with the FBI Law Enforcement.

Of Florida’s worst high-speed police accidents:

-A significant number of the officers involved in these accidents weren’t responding to crime scenes. Instead, they were speeding to respond to routine calls, were late to work or were speeding for no reason at all.

-Officers who are busted speeding are rarely punished by the criminal justice system. Officers found at fault for deadly accidents caused by speeding typically only face penalties of up to 2 months in jail, if anything. Most receive no criminal charges at all.

-In most police agencies, speeding isn’t addressed until it results in a serious accident. Even then, some officers are minimally disciplined, but continue to stay employed with the department and continue to work out on the road.

-Of the fatalities resulting from police-chase accidents, only seven were police officers. These officers were exceeding the speed limit by up to 60 miles per hour at the time of the accident.

Just look at the accident that killed a 65-year-old pedestrian back in September of 2010. The woman was out on her routine morning walk when she was hit by a Brevard Sheriff’s Deputy at 65 miles per hour (25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit). The officer received no criminal charges. He didn’t even get a speeding ticket. The case was dismissed.

In these cases, you need strong legal representation! Officers can’t always been trusted when investigating accidents that involve other officers.

If you or a member of your family has been injured or killed as a result of a police chase-related car accident in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Wellington or elsewhere in the area, contact the South Florida injury attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

Additional Resources:

21 people killed or maimed by speeding cops in Florida since 2004
, by Sally Kestin and John Maines, Sun Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Intoxicated Driver Kills 1, Injures 2 in Pompano Beach Car Accident near I-95 Off Ramp, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, February 21, 2012

Car Accident in West Palm Beach Injures Three as Driver Exits I-95, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, January 27, 2012

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