Glendale officer’s deadly crash costs city $3.8 million

photo: Arizona Republic
photo: Arizona Republic

Yikes. Police officer involved crash resulting in several serious injuries, including a motorist and people walking on the sidewalk.  Anyways, lots of dollars. He was never charged, of course; despite speeding at 30+mph over the speed limit.

Police are allowed under the Authorized Emergency Vehicle statue to do things that would otherwise be violations. However, only under tightly controlled conditions; none of those conditions were met in this incident; he was not using lights or siren, and was not even responding to an emergency, he was responding to a non-emergency trespassing call. It cost the city of Glendale taxpayers a bundle!

The officer was ultimately fired, but only after more motoring misbehavior that came months later.

I don’t know if this was ever evaluated by the county attorney’s office for, e.g. criminal negligence and/or recklessness (whatever culpability required for aggravated assault). It would appear as a bare minimum, he could have been charged by the city attorney for for criminal speeding (20+ over). [that’s the charge, that by the way, Glendale city attorney brought against the MSCO deputy mentioned below, after the county attorney declined charges][it may be the criminal speeding charge was indeed filed, see comment below]

Other police-involved traffic crash shenanigans: The speeding MSCO deputy who became involved in 2013 in a fatal collision in Glendale, a $4M lawsuit grinds on in that case. And a Pinal Co Sheriff’s Deputy who became involved in a fatal collision in 2012 while driving 97mph (and was minutes before going 113 mph) — he was also not using lights, siren, and was not on any call at all, apparently this is considered normal patrolling; the estate of the deceased also has a $4M lawsuit against Pinal County. In the latter case, the Pinal Co deputy was subsequently fired for later traffic misbehavior.

 

Glendale officer’s deadly crash costs city $3.8 million

…Glendale police Officer Cody Howard was speeding on Nov. 30, 2013 when he drove into the intersection of 67th and Glendale avenues and crashed into a minivan, then struck another car. The minivan was sent spinning and hit two pedestrians…

… Glendale paid $2.7 million to Hicks, who was 79 at the time of the accident. He spent 28 days in intensive care and underwent several surgeries on his hips and legs, his attorney said. Hicks has used a wheelchair and lived in a rehabilitation facility since the collision. The city settled with him Feb. 19. Glendale paid $700,000 and $235,000 respectively to Lena Rudulph and Enos Bannerman, the children of Cochran, who was 60. The city settled with Rudulph on Feb. 12 and with Bannerman on March 8. The total: $3,797,500.

 

2 thoughts on “Glendale officer’s deadly crash costs city $3.8 million”

  1. This may have been a crim. speeding charge in this case?
    Case Number: M-0747-TR-2014018907
    Court: Glendale Municipal Filing Date: 9/12/2014
    EXCEED SPEED LIMIT BY 20/45 MPH. 9/19/2014 DEF TO ANOTHER COURT FOR PROS
    and then
    TR2014-146792 File Date: 9/25/2014 Location: Manistee Justice Court
    Case Type: Criminal Traffic Case Status: Adjudicated; plea agreement 3/4/2015

  2. There were some longer excerpts in a GlendaleStar article from Chief Black’s letter explaining Howard’s termination:
    “A review of evidence and information indicates that you were driving in excess of 60 miles per hour in a 40 mile-per-hour zone and ran a red light in the area of 91st and Camelback. Your operation of a City of Glendale police vehicle was not within department policy and created a substantial risk to the citizens of Glendale and Phoenix,” she wrote.
    “During a response to a non-emergency trespassing call you were involved in a fatal accident while driving at a high rate of speed without your overhead lights or siren activated,” Black wrote in a Dec. 2, 2014, letter.

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