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Wrongful death lawsuit possible in bicyclist death

Patricia M. Jarzobski

A 30-year-old man is dead following a collision with a police cruiser, according to local sources. Colorado Springs Police have yet to issue an official statement, but it has been confirmed the unidentified motorcyclist lost his life in the crash. So far, no criminal charges have been filed, but the family of the deceased man may choose to assess the viability of filing a wrongful death claim in civil court. 

The accident report is incomplete at the time of this report, but it places the time of the accident at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at an intersection with traffic lights in Colorado Springs. Apparently, an unmarked police cruiser was traveling at just below the 45 mph speed limit on the road. Somehow, the cruiser collided with a bicyclist in the intersection. The officer driving was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the accident. 

The man was rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries. He was pronounced dead on Sept. 29. The accident is still under investigation at this time, and it is unclear whether the officer who was driving the vehicle will face disciplinary action or charges. Police have not released further information to the public. 

Depending on the outcome of the Colorado police investigation, the officer driving at the time of the accident could lose his or her job on the force and even face jail time should criminal charges be filed and later result in a conviction. However, even if no action is taken against the officer before a criminal court, the family of the deceased cyclist may have grounds under state law to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the officer's employer. Such a claim would be filed and litigated in civil court. 

Source: CBS Denver, "Colorado Bike Rider Hit By Police Car Dies", Oct. 2, 2017

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