Family Files $8 M Lawsuit Over Traffic Death

Family Files $8 M Lawsuit Over Traffic Death

The family and finance of a young woman killed in a traffic accident during a high-speed police chase, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $8 million in damages.

Twenty-four-year-old Edith Dawn Spears died in April 2005 while Northwest Arkansas police pursued a 19-year-old man suspected of a license plate violation. According to the lawsuit, Cpl. Joe Warren began pursuing Clifford Roberts through a residential neighborhood at speeds of up to 100 mph.

Roberts’ pickup truck collided into Spears’ car at an intersection. Spears was instantly killed and her fiancé, Jason Hull, suffered a serious head injury and shattered bones.

The wrongful death lawsuits claim that Warren’s negligent and reckless driving directly resulted in the collision between Roberts’ truck and Spears’ vehicle. According to the suit, Warren violated both Arkansas state law and the city’s police department rules and regulations by pursuing Roberts at high speeds through a residential neighborhood.

Spears’ family and fiancé each seek $4 million from the city of Rogers and from Warren for their losses and suffering including mental anguish, medical and funeral expenses, punitive damages, and more.

The family hopes to promote legislation to prevent future accidents of this nature from occurring.

“This lawsuit is not about money, it’s about raising awareness,” said plaintiff attorney John Lewright. “This is not an isolated incident in Northwest Arkansas. There have been a number of high-speed pursuits in which people have lost their lives.”

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