A judge in Syracuse, New York recently determined that a motorist was at fault for a 2009 pedestrian accident, according to The Post-Standard. What makes this case stand out is the driver was a New York State Trooper who happened to be speeding at the time of the collision. Trooper Thomas Gallery ran over pedestrian Lawrence Perkins in November 2009 as Perkins was crossing the road. Gallery was speeding on his way to a court appearance—he was not responding to an emergency.
The initial police investigation determined Perkins to be at fault because he was not crossing the street within a cross walk. State Court of Claims Judge Nicholas Midey did not see it that way. Judge Midey was particularly critical of the investigation conducted by New York State Trooper Brett Yorgey.
“A pedestrian has an opportunity to decide not to continue [crossing],” Yorgey testified, defending his investigation’s finding.
“And the operator of a vehicle has an obligation not to speed, correct?” Midey responded. “I mean, you issue traffic tickets all the time, correct?”
“During the trial…the Court found such a conclusion incredulous, and continues to do so at this time,” read the decision. “The Court finds absolutely no basis on which to attribute any comparative negligence to [Perkins]. Without even considering Trooper Gallery’s excessive speed, it is abundantly clear to this court that Trooper Gallery failed to operate his vehicle with reasonable care, and failed to take appropriate steps to avoid this collision with [Perkins]. Even after he first observed him in on the roadway.”
It is great that Judge Midey was able to see the flaws in the investigation. If you have been injured in an accident, please contact our office today at (858) 530-4800. You do not have to accept the findings of an initial investigation—stand up for your rights.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego injury attorney