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Lawsuit planned over death during trooper chase

July 8, 2014
Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A prominent Michigan plaintiff's lawyer and former Democratic nominee for Michigan governor said Monday that he is preparing a lawsuit after a state police car broadsided a vehicle while chasing a suspect in Flint, killing a woman and critically injuring two others.

Three people were returning from a salon Thursday when the police car sped through an intersection and hit their car, attorney Geoffrey Fieger said.

The crash killed Jacqueline Nichols, 64, and injured Precious Cochrane, 61, and Robbie Head, 39, Fieger said. His office said the suit was being filed on behalf of Nichols' family. Details on when the suit would be filed and in what court were being released at a news conference Tuesday, Fieger's office said.

The trooper and a civilian passenger sustained less serious injuries.

"It is well known that police take the public's lives into their hands when they engage in unnecessary and inappropriately conducted police chases," Fieger said in the statement.

According to preliminary police findings, the car in which Nichols was riding normally would have had the right of way at the intersection, said state police Capt. Gene Kapp, commander of the district that includes Flint.

It is also true that drivers have a legal obligation to yield to emergency vehicles that have activated their lights and sirens, he said. Kapp said it appears that the trooper had turned on the siren and lights. Fieger said the trooper failed to do so.

"Our hearts go out to these victims," Kapp said.

The investigation of the crash continues, with particular focus on catching the driver whose refusal to stop started the chase, Kapp said.

 
 

 

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