Debbie Criado Fresno: 56-Year-Old Grandmother Tragically Died In Car Accident After Police Chase With Robbery Suspect Near Fresno Street and Princeton Avenue
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA (March 5, 2019) – A 56-year-old grandmother identified as Debbie Criado has tragically died in a car accident after Fresno police chased a 26-year-old robbery suspect who ran a red light.
Fresno police are saying that the suspects vehicle was traveling 50 mph when it t-boned the car that Debbie Criado was in. She and her daughter, brother and 6-year-old grandson were in the car at the time of the accident.
Despite life-saving efforts, Debbie Criado later died due to her injuries. The 6-year-old boy remains hospitalized following the incident.
You can help support the family during this difficult time by donating to their Go Fund Me account. The family was coming home from the airport at the time of the car accident.
The suspect is believed to have had some connection with the robbery and was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence. The investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Police Vehicle Pursuits
Deadly police chases have become all to common in the United States. It has been estimated that there are nearly 23 police chases every day in California. According to California Vehicle Code Section 17004.7, California police departments are immune from liability for accidents involving fleeing suspects. In a high profile case, the California Supreme Court ruled that police departments are immune from liability vehicle pursuits provided that police departments are 100% compliant with vehicle-pursuit statutes.
Activists that have been deeply upset by the number of serious injuries and deaths caused by police pursuits have pushed for laws stripping police departments of immunity from vehicle-pursuit crashes. There was not enough momentum to pass the law, but a compromise bill was passed. This compromise bill is formally known as Senate Bill 719. An interpretation of this bill was at the heart of the case before the California Supreme Court.
Under Senate Bill 719, police officers will only be immune from liability in vehicle-pursuit accidents provided that they (1) adopt and enforce safe vehicle pursuit guidelines, and (2) provide regular and periodic training to officers about safe pursuits. Police departments that fail to meet these standards may face civil liability. Based on the ruling before the California Supreme Court, it is not necessary for every police officer to meet the requirements within the statute. A car accident attorney can investigate your claim free of charge and let you know if you have a claim that can be pursued.
Investigating A Vehicle Pursuit Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Debbie Criado. We encourage everyone to donate to the Go Fund Me campaign that has been set up for the family. There needs be some serious work done on police pursuit policy in California. Far too many innocent bystanders have been killed or seriously injured. Police are quick to condemn suspects in these crashes, but they are slow to realize how their own recklessness exacerbates the problem. Chasing a suspect that stole a few hundred dollars is not worth putting everyone’s life at risk.
If you or someone that you love has been involved in an accident with a fleeing suspect you may have legal recourse. Our team of highly experienced personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have about your rights. We care deeply about fighting for our clients and making sure that they get justice. Whether you need a free investigation into your case or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.