Deadly Jamestown, North Carolina Car Crash: State Attorney General’s Office Says It Won’t Release Investigation Report

July 27, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two months after a police pursuit ended in a Jamestown car accident that claimed the lives of 55-year-old Sandra Allmond and her 11-year-old granddaughter Taylor Strange and injured Elijah Allmond and Steven Strange, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office’s saying that it won’t release the investigation report that it commissioned. The deadly North Carolina auto accident happened as NC Highway Patrol Officer J.D. Goodnight was pursuing a vehicle moving at 80 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Goodnight’s vehicle was reportedly moving at a speed above the speed limit, reduced from 120 mph, when he struck the auto carrying the four car accident victims. One witness has stepped forward claiming that the state trooper was not pursuing anyone when the collision happened. He also says that he saw the police officer’s blue lights but did not hear a siren. Investigators have said that Allmond did not yield the right of way.

However, the Attorney General’s Office is saying that since it is its job to represent the state, and North Carolina wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits will likely be filed, sharing the information would “prohibit the state’s ability to defend the state” from such complaints.

At least three of the victim’s families have already hired North Carolina car accident lawyers. Since the deadly Jamestown auto collision, North Carolina’s Highway Patrol has modified its rules for pursuing criminal suspects. Under the new policy, a trooper is not allowed to join a police chase unless he/she if formally asked to help by a local police agency’s emergency communications center.

Police officers must abide by the speed limit and obey traffic signs. In the event that they are embroiled in a police pursuit that requires that they disregard traffic laws, then it is important that they warn other motorists and pedestrians while exercising caution that they not become involved in any type of North Carolina motor vehicle collision. Stopping suspects and rushing to the scene of a crime are not good enough reasons for causing accidental injury or death to others.

Lawsuits expected in May 23 fatal crash, Jamestownnews, July 27, 2010

Eyewitness contradicts story of trooper crash, ABC Local, July 21, 2010

NC Highway Patrol Changes Pursuit Policy, Digitriad, July 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:

North Carolina Highway Patrol

Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase policies, USA Today, April 23, 2010