Last year, an innocent 40-year-old man was killed when an eight-time felon crashed into his car at the end of a high speed chase with officers from the City of Federal Way. Now, the estate of Douglas Simmons III is suing the City of Federal Way, the state Department of Corrections, and the felon who crashed into his car and killed him.
Virginia Ramsey, the 8-time felon who crashed into Simmons’ car, had a series of probation violations prior to the high speed chase on July 26, 2010. The wrongful death lawsuit says that correction officers could have arrested Ramsey earlier and avoided the incident.
According to the News Tribune, the lawsuit also says that officers should have ended the chase down the Pacific Highway as Ramsey was driving recklessly.
Ramsey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, vehicular assault and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle. She is currently serving a 24 year prison sentence.
According to the original news report, Simmons was bringing his girlfriend to the airport around the time that police spotted Ramsey in a parking lot. When police approached, Ramsey took off down the Pacific Highway.
Police pursued Ramsey down the highway. The chase ended when Ramsey ran a red light and hit Simmons’ car. Simmons died instantly, while his girlfriend suffered critical injuries.
Should the police be responsible for Simmons’ death? What happened to Simmons is tragic, but if his estate wins the lawsuit, won’t it make it harder for police to pursue criminals?
Simmons’ estate is seeking unspecified damages for medical bills, loss of employment, and emotional damage.