Brian White | August 18, 2020 | News
It began when a deputy noticed a woman and a man arguing in a parking lot near Fry Road about 1:30 in the morning on August 2, 2020. The two individuals got into a gray Chrysler 300 and left. The deputy followed them.
According to Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the Chrysler stopped on the road and then sped off. The vehicle reached speeds of 90 mph in a 50-mph speed zone. The deputy activated his lights and tried to initiate a traffic stop.
The driver ignored the deputy and continued to drive erratically at excessive speeds. The vehicles continued along the feeder road of Katy Freeway near Greenhouse. The driver of the Chrysler suddenly veered to avoid hitting another vehicle.
The deputy could not stop in time and crashed into a Honda Accord driven by an Uber driver. After the crash, a 17-year-old male was seen running across I-10 with leg injuries. He was discovered hiding behind the Texas Children’s Hospital.
The female that was in the Chrysler may have gotten into a white and black jeep. The Houston County Sheriff’s Office continues to search for the female suspect.
Suspect and Uber Driver Identified
The Uber driver killed in the car accident was identified as Bismark Asare. Mr. Asare’s wife said she spoke to him just hours before the fatal car accident. He is also survived by a 7-year-old daughter.
Emergency responders transported Mr. Asare to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy. He died from his injuries at the hospital.
A passenger in Mr. Asare’s vehicle was not seriously injured in the accident.
The driver of the Chrysler was identified as Daniel Martinez. Authorities arrested Martinez and charged him with failure to stop and render aid and felony murder.
According to Eyewitness News, the teen has a lengthy criminal record. He was out of jail on bond at the time of the incident. He was accused of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
The police believe that alcohol may have been involved and that they know where the teenager was served alcohol. They ask anyone with information about the incident to contact their local authorities.
Personal Injury Claims Involving Government Entities
The investigation into the above matter continues. The details in the news story may be incomplete, so it is impossible to know precisely how the crash occurred and the parties who might share responsibility for the death of Mr. Asare.
Since the police have charged the teenager with felony murder, it appears that they are placing the blame for Mr. Asare’s death on the teenager. While the teenager may be found guilty of felony murder for his role in the fatal car accident, he could also be liable for civil damages in a wrongful death claim.
Under Texas wrongful death laws, Mr. Asare’s family may have a claim against all parties that negligently contributed to the cause of his death. That may include the teenage driver who failed to stop for a police officer. However, if the police officer were negligent in pursuing the teenage driver, the county could also be liable for damages.
Suing a government entity for a wrongful death claim can be extremely complicated. Most government entities have sovereign immunity from being sued for most personal injuries.
However, the Texas Torts Claims Act allows the government to be sued for specific personal injury claims, including the death or injury caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by a state employee while acting within the employee’s scope of duty.
However, there are exceptions for emergencies and actions during the execution of duties. The exception does not apply in cases in which the government employee acted with “conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.” It can be difficult to determine when a high-speed chase becomes reckless.
A careful evaluation of the entire facts and circumstances of an accident must be completed to determine if the family members might have an action against the state. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help with that evaluation.
Act Quickly or Lose Your Right to File a Claim Against the Government
If you do have a valid claim against a government entity for personal injuries or wrongful death, you must act quickly. Claims involving government entities have extremely short deadlines.
Unlike other injury lawsuits, a notice of claim must be filed with the government entity within 180 days of the accident. If you fail to file the notice, your right to pursue a lawsuit might be barred. Therefore, it is always wise to talk with a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident that involves a government vehicle of any type, including police and fire vehicles, ambulances, and buses.