Washington D.C. Police Identify Motorcyclist Involved in Deadly Police Chase and Seven-Car Crash

D.C. police say they have identified the motorcyclist that was involved in the high-speed police chase that resulted in a deadly multi-motor vehicle collision on the Capital Beltway on May 30. The crash resulted in the deaths of two people. 15 others were injured in the collision involving seven motor vehicles.

The woman who was a passenger on the motorcycle is the person that has reportedly come forward to identify the motorcyclist. According to over 20 witnesses and based on videotape and other evidence, Office Scott Campbell began chasing a motorcycle, driven by a man with a female passenger, down the Capital Beltway during rush-hour traffic. The high-speed pursuit at times reportedly exceeded 120 mph. The police cruiser eventually crashed into an SUV and other vehicles became involved in the multi-car collision.

Officer Campbell reportedly began chasing the motorcycle without notifying dispatchers—which he should have done. Kevin McDonald and Sidney Clanton, who were riding the SUV, were killed almost immediately. The car of an off-duty police officer also involved in the crash was also seriously damaged.

There is no word on whether criminal charges will be filed. The Prince George’s police department vehicle pursuit policy says that police officers can only engage in chasing a suspect if an officer has probable cause to believe that the person they are pursuing either injured or killed someone in a hit and run crash or physically violent or could become physically violent. According to police policy, police officers must prioritize ensuring the preservation of life over catching a suspect.

Statistics show that 300 people die every year in police pursuit-related accidents. Of these deaths, about 30% of the victims were innocent bystanders who were not even directly involved in the pursuit. Between 1994-2002, 102 bicyclists and pedestrians and 40 police officers were killed because of police chases.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motorcyclist, because a car driver, truck driver, another motorcyclist, a pedestrian, a bus driver, a police officer, or any other party behaved negligently or carelessly, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to demand compensation for your injuries.

Motorcyclist Sought in Pileup Is Identified, Washington Post, October 27, 2007
Study examines crash fatalities from police pursuits, UW School of Medicine, April 16, 2004
D.C. Area Crash Kills 2, Injures 15, CBS News, May 31, 2007

Related Web Resource:

Police Pursuit Accidents

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