When criminal law intersects with motor vehicle accidents

Wisconsin police officers often later claim they had reasonable cause to engage in a vehicle pursuit when one or more parties allegedly left the scene of crime or exhibited some other behavior while driving that caught their attention. The problem is that some police chases end in motor vehicle accidents, sometimes with fatal results. This is evident in a recent tragedy that took place when law enforcement officers tried to catch up with a car they claim was traveling more than 90 mph.  

The incident occurred on a recent Saturday. A woman, age 35, was reportedly behind the wheel of the car that was being chased by police. A 36-year-old man was traveling as her passenger at the time.  

Authorities say the woman's vehicle was traveling at excessively high rates of speed in a 55 mph zone. Maintaining steering control at high speeds is difficult, especially if road terrain is unstable or includes sharp turns. The woman in this situation is said to have lost control of her vehicle at some point, causing it to roll over before it crashed to a halt. 

Sadly, the impact of the crash was so severe that the woman did not survive her injuries.The passenger in the vehicle was transported to an area hospital for emergency treatment. His injuries are listed as life-threatening. Wisconsin motor vehicle accidents that result in serious injuries often lead to litigation if a recovering victim pursues recovery for his or her losses against a driver deemed negligent. In situations like this one, an injured passenger may have cause for action against the estate of the deceased driver.

Source: wbay.com, "One person dead, another injured after police pursuit ends in crash", May 6, 2018

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