A St. Louis family that was involved in a 2009 fatal accident when a car
being pursued by the police crashed into their car was recently awarded
$3.1 million in damages by a jury. The suit was filed against the village
of Uplands Park, where the crash took place and which employed the police
officers involved in the crash.
The driver involved in the pursuit was a 16-year-old who was caught driving
some 16 miles per hour over the speed limit. Police then gave chase, and
the 16-year-old suspect, Derion Henderson, attempted to get away. The
police car was driven by a non-certified volunteer, Lamont Aikens, and
Sgt. Janet Riley. Riley and Aikens claimed they stopped pursuing the suspect
then changed their stories after a witness came forward and refuted their
claims. The witness, Ronesha Jones, said her vehicle was hit by the suspect’s
car as well as the police vehicle, and that they were driving about 80 mph.
Henderson eventually crashed into a car with two adults and three children.
The driver, 34-year-old Lashanna Snipes, was killed. The others were injured.
Because of state liability caps, it is expected that Uplands Park attorneys
will contest the award and try to get it lowered.
For more on this story, see