The collision occurred on Jonesboro Road on the night of Sunday, Nov. 11. According to the Georgia State Police, the officer started chasing the suspected stolen car on Highway 138. Purportedly, a white work van carrying six occupants then attempted to enter the highway by making a left-hand turn. At this point, the police cruiser collided with the van, knocking it on its side, before both vehicles burst into flames.
Although the accident is still under investigation, no details were given in the report as to whether the officer had his emergency lights or siren on as he was pursuing the stolen vehicle. The officer was one of the people injured. He was admitted to the hospital with a head injury but was expected to be released that following Monday. Three others in the van also suffered injuries, and all were taken to the hospital, but only one of the victims had injuries described as serious.
Understandably, the families of the deceased victims are likely waiting to hear about what the investigation uncovers regarding the cause of the car accident. If the officer was acting negligently or was not running his lights or siren, that information could help establish his culpability in the crash. If the driver of the van was at fault, he or she may face lawsuits in a Georgia civil court from the surviving family members of the deceased, the others in the van who suffered injuries as well as the police officer. If the driver of the van was one of the people who died, his or her estate could be named in any personal injury and/or wrongful death lawsuits that arise from this unfortunate tragedy.
Source: WSB-TV 2, “3 dead in fiery crash after van collides with police cruiser chasing stolen car“, Tom Jones, Audrey Washington, Nov. 12, 2018