A multi-county police pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in Rutherford County with fatal results this past June...
As previously heard on WGNS last week, the family of Jessica Miranda Campos has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the embattled sheriff's office and several others over the car chase that ended with her death.
Campos was killed in a crash on South Church Street near Joe B. Jackson Parkway when Rutherford and Coffee county sheriff's personnel chased a suspected car thief through heavy traffic on Friday afternoon, June 24.
"According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller, 28-year old Jennifer Campos was turning out of a parking lot onto South Church when the Nissan Altima she was driving was slammed on the driver's side door by the large, stolen Cadillac SUV driven by suspect Garieon Simmons. Campos, of Murfreesboro, was killed in the crash and her seven-month old little girl was hurt, but survived."
Represented by Nashville attorney Ivan Lopez, Campos' survivors, husband Edgar Campos and two children Jason Edmundo Bess Coleman and Kaci Lynn Campos filed the suit against Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Coffee County Sheriff's Office, Manchester Funeral Home, funeral home owner Tim Kilgore and Gareion Simmons, who is charged with vehicular homicide and several other offenses in the incident.
Lopez said the defendants were "absolutely, without a doubt" negligent in the incident that led to Campos' death.
The family is seeking $10 million to help Campos' husband take care of the children's education and long-term living expenses, Lopez said.
Sherry Neil was a witness to the crash on South Church Street in Murfreesboro...
In a letter to Murfreesboro City Council, Police Chief Karl Durr said he witnessed a portion of the pursuit, though the city department did not get involved in the chase, and asked city officials to seek state legislation limiting high-speed pursuits to cases involving violent felonies.
With the federal government reporting 329 people killed in police chases each year, many agencies are adopting stricter pursuit guidelines, Durr's letter says.
"While our officers are highly trained, a pursuit can push the officer beyond their driving capabilities which can result in deadly crashes," he wrote. "Police pursuits also create enormous civil liability for police officers and agencies. Equally obvious is the need to protect the public and police from unnecessary risks created by indiscriminate high-speed chases."
Murfreesboro Police policy restricts pursuits to instances of violent felonies, and supervisors are asked to determine whether initiating a high-speed chase is worth the risk.
"Our policy is restrictive because we recognize the sanctity of life over property," he wrote.
Read more about this story by Sam Stockard in the Murfreesboro Post HERE.