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Driver could face wrongful death lawsuit for trooper's death

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Police officers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. As they begin their shift each day they risk being shot by a suspect, targeted for their role as a law enforcer or involved in a high-speed chase gone wrong. Around every corner is another opportunity to be hurt or worse. This was unfortunately the truth for a Colorado State Patrol trooper who was recently accidentally killed while performing his duties. It is now possible that the person responsible for the accident may face a wrongful death lawsuit for their actions.

Recent blizzard conditions have created havoc on Colorado roadways. Car accidents have been daily occurrences as drivers attempt to navigate the snow-covered roadways. A driver slid off the roadway on Interstate 76, and a CSP trooper stopped to assist the motorist. While the trooper was assisting with the accident, a second driver lost control of his vehicle and slid uncontrollably toward the accident site, striking the trooper with his car.

The 52-year-old trooper had served in the Colorado State Patrol for 12 years. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. The driver of the second vehicle was a 58-year-old man who suffered moderate injuries in the crash.

Speed is suspected as a contributing factor in the accident. Posted speed limits are considered the safest maximum speed for optimum driving conditions. When there are adverse conditions such as snow, rain or fog, drivers must reduce their speed as necessary.

If it is determined that the second driver was in fact speeding or driving negligently prior to losing control of his vehicle, he could potentially face financial responsibility for the death of the trooper. The victim's family could file a wrongful death claim to seek recovery of lost wages, end of life expenses and other losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise the family of their rights and the proper procedures to follow to pursue the claim.

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