An auto accident in Newark that stemmed from a police chase resulted in the death of a 14-month-old girl on Saturday, April 9. A Star-Ledger article reports that before the fatal accident, a red Jeep was being pursued by police for many blocks after it matched the description of a stolen vehicle involved in a robbery and shooting incident. However, when the officer saw the suspects driving dangerously, they claim to have stopped the chase for concerns over safety.
The Jeep proceeded to speed the wrong way down a street, crashing into a Cadillac, which then hit a 40-year-old woman, her 10-year-old son, and her 14-month-old niece as they were crossing South 18th Street at 18th Avenue a little before 7:30 p.m. on April 7. The toddler was discovered after the crash on the pavement between the two vehicles. She died from serious head trauma and the three pedestrians, as well as the Cadillac motorist, were transported to and received treatment at University Hospital, only to be later released.
An investigation into the fatal car collision is ongoing and being led by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newark Police Department. The drivers of the Jeep involved in the police chase are reported to be juveniles, aged 17 and 16. They are facing multiple counts, including eluding, aggravated assault by auto, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property and robbery.
Auto accidents relating to police chases may be complicated, since some fault for the accident may be connected to negligence actions on the part of law enforcement. Sometimes decisions made by a police officer during a high-speed pursuit could be in violation of the department’s standard operating procedure, and, could place the lives of others in danger. So, when a serious injury or fatal car crash occurs following a police chase, there should be a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident, as well as to identify all responsible parties.
No matter how complex a motor vehicle accident is, injury victims and family members of those killed should not be intimidated from pursuing their legal rights. At Blume Forte, our New Jersey car accident lawyers have decades of experience holding negligent motorists and police officers accountable for the harm their careless and reckless conduct have caused. For a no-cost consultation of your potential claim, call us at 973-635-5400.