One Messy Crash

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 this article.