Family of man killed in crash sues police

Police were chasing robbery suspect when crash took place.
MCT Regional News
Sep 6, 2013

The three sons of a Washington Township motorist killed as Toledo police were chasing a robbery suspect have filed suit in U.S. District Court, alleging civil rights violations.

Joseph Collins and J. Bart Collins, of Springboro, Ohio, and Jesup Collins of Tamuning, Guam, named the city, former police Chief Mike Navarre, current Chief Derrick Diggs, and 17 other Toledo police officers in the complaint, which alleges their father, Larry Collins, was killed Sept. 3, 2011, in a “high-speed, wrong-way, unsupervised, chaotic vehicle pursuit” that was contrary to department regulations.

“Pursuits such as the one that killed Larry Collins are virtually the most dangerous activities that police officers engage in,” Cincinnati attorney Scott Greenwood said in a news release about the suit he filed on behalf of the Collins family. “... In this case, the department completely ignored its stated policies.”

Mr. Collins, 64, was killed when a Toledo police cruiser smashed head-on into his vehicle as he was driving north on I-75. The cruiser, driven by Officer David O’Brien, was chasing Brian Everett Lipp, 48, of Lambertville when Lipp drove the wrong way onto I-75 and Officer O’Brien followed him. Lipp, who was ultimately shot and killed by police later that day, had been pursued for two days by police as a suspect in a home invasion and robberies at two Toledo pharmacies.

The lawsuit says TPD’s own policy on pursuits states that vehicle pursuits should be terminated “whenever the level of danger created by the pursuit outweighs the immediate consequences of the suspect’s escape.”

The suit contends that the city and the police department treated Mr. Collins’ death as a mere traffic accident, did not investigate it or present it to a grand jury, and did not contact the family to express regrets or offer assistance of any kind. Former Chief Navarre, who is now Oregon police chief, went to the funeral home in plain clothes but told the family he was there as an individual not as the police chief, the suit claims.

Chief Navarre said Wednesday he did not want to draw attention to himself by appearing in uniform.

“I was at the funeral home to express my sympathy and extend to the family basically the invitation that if there was anything we could do for them I would certainly try to help them out,” he said. “... It was very, very somber. I didn’t stay long. I just thought it was the appropriate thing to do.”

He and city spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei declined to comment on the lawsuit. “We have not yet seen the complaint, and we will respond through the courts,” Ms. Sorgenfrei said.

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By Jennifer Feehan - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

truckin

Don't rob/steal! Don't flee! Live a long life! Sounds simple

JakeMac25

You didn't read the whole article did you? The guy that died was a bystander not involved with the police chase.

truckin

Didn't read it correctly. Excuse me! I just so sick of lawsuits brought on by family members in ANY case. really What? a family member dies, never to be brought back, (for whatever reason) and the rest of the family gains major wealth? payday on the backs of a family member? and in time, family member who? long forgotten. call me cold i don't care. I have seen this and that is the story, like in cig cases. A man smokes for 50 yrs then dies and his family collects millions?? like this story, dies by accident. sad! sure. but then make many others totally broke including state-city. Now what good is that? Taxes get raised or municipalities have less funding for future protection??

AEversole

Trucking are you a retarding????

AEversole

Lol