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Texas negligence: Parents file lawsuit against driver and city

The parents of two unrelated teenagers involved in a deadly Texas car accident have filed a lawsuit accusing the city and a truck driver of negligence. The teens were stopped at a red light when they were struck by a vehicle involved in a police chase. The fleeing truck hit a spike strip placed in the road by officers. It skidded and struck the teen's vehicle, killing one and seriously injuring the other. There have been no details released concerning the amount of damages sought in the negligence lawsuit.

The incident began when officers were contacted about a theft at the San Jacinto Mall in Baytown. Officers subsequently attempted to make an arrest at an Academy store parking lot, but a truck driver is said to have purposely backed into one of the patrol cars and fled the scene. Police pursued the truck for over two miles at speeds in excess of 85 mph. A spike strip was placed on the roadway in an effort to slow the truck down, but a violent crash resulted.

The lawsuit alleges the officer who made the decision to use the strip was aware of the dangers it could cause if a vehicle struck it at a high speed. In addition, the truck driver is targeted for negligence as well. The parents allege he failed to control the speed of his vehicle and that he also failed to brake properly.

The two teens were leaving work when the crash occurred and were merely innocent bystanders in this tragic accident. Texas parents who lose a child in such a manner have the right to seek recourse through our civil court system. While nothing can diminish their tragic loss, a successful negligence or wrongful death claim could result in a monetary award against those found responsible for the senseless accident.

Source: chron.com, "Lawsuit: Police 'spike strip' caused fiery crash that killed, injured teens," Erin Mulvaney, Feb. 7, 2013

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