The mother of Haines Holloway-Lilliston is suing the city of Baltimore and Police Officer Timothy Everett Beall for Maryland wrongful death. Holloway-Lilliston died last year in a Baltimore motorcycle accident that occurred during a high-speed police chase. Now, Connie Holloway-Johnson is seeking $40 million.
Holloway-Johnson believes that her son’s death was caused by Beall, who, per an investigation report by he Maryland State Police, kept following the 27-year-old even after he was ordered to “end the chase” and he had turned off is siren and lights. Distracted by radio communication and his telephone, Beall’s police car rear-ended Holloway-Lilliston, whose body ended up bouncing off the vehicle. These findings are counter to what Beall told investigators when he said that the motorcyclist “crashed out in front of him.” No criminal charges have been filed against Beall.
Police officers must follow specific protocols when pursuing another vehicle. One reason for this is to prevent becoming involved in a traffic crash—whether with the suspect or innocent bystanders. Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina professor of criminology, was quoted in USA Today last year as saying that approximately 35% – 40% of police chases end in traffic crashes. Alpert also says that while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that police pursuits result in about 360 deaths a year, that number is likely 3 to 4 times higher.
Police pursuits often involve at least one if not more vehicles going at a fast speed. In the heat of the moment, the motorists my disregard traffic lights and laws and fail to pay attention to the surrounding vehicles and pedestrians. Reckless driving, even in the name of apprehending a suspect, can cause serious injuries or death.
Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase policies, USA Today, April 23, 2010
Family of crash victim files $40 million suit against city, officer, The Baltimore Sun, April 6, 2011
Officer Suspended After Fatal Crash With Motorcycle, WBALTV, July 15, 2010
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Traffic Injury News: Baltimore Named in $40 Million Lawsuit following Motorcycle Rider’s Death, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, April 9, 2011
Maryland Trucking Accident News: Rogue Truck Driver Leads Police on Multi-State Chase, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2011
Maryland Traffic Accident News: Montgomery County Driver Faces 10 Years for Death of Gaithersburg Bicyclist, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2011