Suspect arraigned following fatal December 12 pursuit crash in Mission
18-year-old Esteban Cantu Jr. has been arraigned on two counts of murder in connection with a December 12 car crash that claimed the lives of two Mission women. According to a news release, Cantu was being pursued by US Border Patrol agents and Texas state troopers when his vehicle collided with another vehicle at the intersection of 2 Mile Line and Holland Road.
Two women in the other vehicle, 59-year old Carmen Huerta Sosa, and her 22 year old daughter, Viridiana Charon Lloyd, were both killed.
Authorities say Cantu was transporting six undocumented immigrants, and that the vehicle pursuit began after Cantu refused to heed Border Patrol agents’ instructions to pull over. Cantu and the occupants in his vehicle were injured in the accident, but they survived the crash.
Who can be held liable for a crash resulting from a police chase?
There are different ways to determine responsibility for such crashes. In most cases, the party at fault is the one who had a duty of care to the person injured, or killed, and who is found to be guilty of violating that duty.
The parties who possibly could be held liable for causing a police chase accident are:
- The suspect. Every motorist owes a duty of care to other people on the road. Reckless driving during a police chase can be viewed as a breach of that duty. The suspect can be named in a lawsuit if a subsequent crash causes death, injuries, or property damage. The suspect also can be liable for the cost of treatments for mental and emotional distress.
- Police officers and departments. It is more difficult to sue law enforcement agencies for injury compensation, but it is not impossible. State and federal authorities have specific requirements governing pursuit procedures that must be followed. If it is found that they violated procedure, crash victims, and even the offenders themselves, can file suit against officers or the department after an injury. Furthermore, the suspect’s family can file a lawsuit against the officers, or their supervisors, if the suspect was killed in the pursuit.
- Government employers. Depending on the circumstances, states and municipalities can be held liable for crash injuries if there were no safeguards in place to prevent reckless behavior, or if the crash resulted from a failure to adequately train officers in pursuit procedures.
If you were hurt in a car accident, J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys can help you determine who should pay for your medical bills and lost income. You can contact one of our experienced injury attorneys today via this website, or by calling one of the following phone numbers:
Brownsville: (956) 420-7363
McAllen: (956) 420-7328
Rio Grande: (956) 420-6484
Weslaco: (956) 420-7363
Source: The Monitor News