The family an 11-year-old boy who died when he was hit by a patrol car has filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit.
The boy was struck by the car, being driven by a Calhoun County Sheriff Department deputy, on May 28. The accident occurred at Michigan Avenue at Lenon Street, just east of the entrance to the Leila Arboretum, in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The youngster was riding a "pocket bike" motor scooter. The deputy was responding to a report of a burglary when the boy was struck. His family alleges the deputy could have been driving at least 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, without lights or sirens on.
The Calhoun County sheriff acknowledged the deputy had not turned on his emergency lights or sirens. He said the boy turned left in front of the patrol car.
The lawsuit contends the deputy was negligent.
"At all relevant times Defendant Deputy Doe failed to drive at a reasonable speed so as to assure a safe stop," the suit alleges. "At all times relevant hereto, Defendant, Deputy Doe, was grossly negligent when he endangered other drivers by failing to pay attention to the roadway, resulting in Defendant slamming into (the child), who was traveling on a bike, and with total disregard for plaintiff's safety."
The lawsuit names both the county and the deputy as defendants. The deputy's name has not been made public by Michigan State Police, the investigating agency.
This is a tragic situation that has left a young boy dead and his family grieving. If the investigation shows the deputy was negligent, the family could have a strong wrongful death case.