Sometimes when a person commits a crime, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the initial act sets off a series of events leading to an unexpected conclusion with very serious consequences. For example, car accidents resulting from police chases are not uncommon, and because of the high speeds involved, sometimes cause fatalities. In a recent example, a California woman and five dogs were killed in a crash in Long Beach.
The incident began when police officers noted a man driving a stolen van and tried to pull him over at a traffic stop. When the man did not stop, police began chasing him. The chase ended shortly afterward when the van crashed into three parked cars as well as a vehicle driven by a 41-year-old owner of a dog-walking business and six dogs that were with her in the vehicle. According to witnesses, the van was traveling at such a high speed, it was difficult to even absorb what they saw happening.
Following the crash, the victim was transported to a local hospital, where she later died. Four of the dogs died at the scene, and the other two were taken to a veterinary hospital. One died there, and another remains in serious condition. The accused now faces several charges: evading an officer, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
As all California residents know, car accidents can happen at any time and for many different reasons. In this case, a woman and several dogs have lost their lives, apparently due to a drunk driver and possibly due to negligent behavior on the part of the police. If the accident investigation concludes that these police officers chased their suspect in unsafe circumstances, or otherwise violated police department procedures, the victim's family may consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the law enforcement agency that employs them. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can provide valuable legal guidance in such matters.