JACKSON – The family of a man who succumbed to injuries in a crash has filed suit against Jackson police, stating that a police officer chased a suspect, causing the death of an innocent bystander.
The incident happened on the night of July 5, 2018. According to Patrolman Cherrick Daniels’ report, he observed a motorcyclist fail to stop at a red light before turning right on South New Prospect Road. Following the motorcyclist, he “visually estimated” the driver to be going more than the 45 mph speed limit. He closed the gap between his cruiser and the motorcyclist and put on his overhead lights.
The motorcyclist, according to Daniels’ police report, saw the police car and sped up. It then collided with a car making a left from Oak Drive.
The motorcyclist, Anthony Griffin, 22, of Jackson, was declared dead at the scene.
The driver of the car, Eric Larson, 24, of Jackson was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center. He succumbed to his injuries on July 27, 2018.
Larson’s family is the one that is suing the department. In the lawsuit filed in Superior Court, they state that the officer created an unsafe situation in pursuing the motorcyclist at a high rate of speed in a residential neighborhood. New Jersey has a law on the books forbidding officers from chasing people who are fleeing because it endangers the lives of people on the road.
Jackson police declined to comment since it is pending litigation.
The report from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office stated that the officer was not at fault. Viewing the camera in the police vehicle, the investigator stated that the pursuit lasted 12 seconds. The camera corroborated Officer Daniels’ report. Additionally, it noted that the crash occurred near the center of the roadway. The report stated that if the motorcyclist was traveling at the speed limit and was in his lane of travel, Larson would have seen the motorcycle and been able to avoid the crash.