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Wrongful death: traffic stop deadly for motorcyclist in Houston

A motorcyclist may have been the victim of a wrongful death after being killed on Highway 288 in Texas on May 24. The victim was pulled over by a police officer for allegedly running red lights. The man stopped for the officer at the entrance ramp close to the 7000 block of South Freeway near Yellowstone when the apparent wrongful death accident occurred.

Once the man pulled over, the officer reportedly asked him to move to a safer area so they could finish the traffic stop. Before he could, the officer's patrol car was side-swiped and the motorcyclist was hit by a Chevrolet Z71 truck. The biker died from his injuries at the scene of the collision.

The impact of the accident threw the driver of the pickup who side-swept the patrol car out of his truck. He was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital with suspected head injuries, but the precise nature of his injuries and his updated medical condition were not further reported. The officer was uninjured. Sobriety tests indicated that the driver of the pickup was likely drunk when the collision occurred, and he could face charges of intoxication manslaughter.

The deceased victim heeded the officer's call to stop, but neither the officer or the victim could predict the actions of the pickup driver, which resulted in what may constitute a wrongful death under Texas law. Although the pickup driver is being criminally charged in Texas, he may also be held civilly liable for his role in this accident if it is determined that he acted negligently or recklessly in causing the death of the biker. The family of the motorcyclist will surely want to know the details surrounding this tragedy as they struggle to deal with the sudden and unexpected death of their loved one.

Source: chron.com, "Police ID motorcyclist killed during traffic stop on 288," May 24, 2012

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