Missouri officer-involved motorcycle accidents can be difficult

Motorcycle accidents can often lead to catastrophic injuries and even death, especially when other vehicles are involved. It can seem even more tragic for family members when fatal motorcycle accidents also involve police officers. We tend to view law enforcement personnel as protectors of the public welfare and don’t necessarily expect them to be involved in fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, one Missouri resident was recently killed when a sheriff’s deputy struck his motorcycle from behind.

That Deputy was apparently responding to an emergency call when the collision occurred. The motorcyclist was evidently traveling south just before 9 p.m. and was rear-ended by the police officer. The man reportedly died at the scene.

Officials stated that State Highway Patrol investigators would be looking into the fatal crash. This appears to be routine procedure when accidents happen outside of the city limits but within a county’s jurisdiction. The officer will apparently be kept off of duty for at least a few days as his procedure when officers involved in any type of fatality. His superior officer indicated that he felt this was just a “tragic, tragic” accident.

Even if that is the case, however, Missouri residents may be questioning why the officer struck the motorcycle from behind while responding to an emergency call. The family of the man who lost his life may especially be looking for answers. While all of the details in this specific case are not yet completely clear, those involved in fatal motorcycle accidents like this often seek answers by pursuing civil litigation in our state courts. Our laws consider a wrongful death action appropriate when a fatality is caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another, and provide for the recovery of monetary damages when liability is established.

Source: The Joplin Globe, “Newton County sheriff’s deputy placed on leave after fatal wreck,” Emily Younker, Aug. 18, 2012

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