Thursday, February 4, 2010

Routine Police Stop Turns Into Hot Pursuit Causing Fatality

Routine police stops occur every day. However, on January 29, 2010, the Maryland State Police pulled over Mr. Tyrone Butler for speeding. In the vehicle with Mr. Butler was his friend, Francis Chase, Jr. Mr. Butler was found to be driving on a suspended license at which time the responding trooper called for backup. Once the additional officers arrived on the scene, the officers approached Mr. Butlers pick up truck. Mr. Butler attempted to flee the scene and led the police on a 2 ½ mile chase on Route 235 in Hollywood, Maryland. The pursuit turned deadly when Mr. Butler turned abruptly onto Vista Road and into a private driveway at which time he crashed into two trees before the vehicle came to rest. Mr. Butler was flown to Prince George's County Shock Trauma with non-life threatening injuries. Mr. Chase, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.

This is an example of an accident that was caused by one person's poor judgement. The family of Mr. Chase may pursue a claim against Mr. Butlers' insurance carrier for death benefits to assist with the costs of burial or other costs arising from this accident as well as a wrongful death claim. However, it is unlikely that he had any insurance since he was driving on a suspended license. Hence, the recovery, if any, will have to be under Mr. Chases' own uninsured motorist policy. Mr. Butler could also face civil and criminal charges as a result of his actions. Charges such as vehicular manslaughter could be filed by the State of Maryland.

If you, a family member, or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident or you would like more information on car accidents, please contact Portner & Shure for a free consultation.

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