In July of 2014, dashcam video caught Michigan State Trooper Timothy Fagin running a red light while in pursuit of a man not wearing a seat belt. While Fagin sped through the intersection, the footage shows him plowing into a car full of innocent bystanders, injuring two and killing 64-year-old Jacqueline Nichols. The police officer has finally received his punishment: he’s getting suspended for 72 hours.
According to the Flint Journal, Timothy Fagin will be missing 72 hours of work for accidentally taking the life of Jacqueline Nichols, assuming he stays out of trouble for two years. A police recommendation sent to Timothy Fagin acknowledges the fatality that he caused by running the red light and recommends a 30-day suspension, but it seems the trooper will only see 72 hours off duty.
Even a 30-day suspension may seem like lenient consequences for running over Jacqueline Nichols, but the authorities seem to be focused on the fact that Timothy Fagin killed the woman completely on accident.
However, the tragedy did result in a $7.7 million lawsuit filed against the state by Nichols’ family. According to MLive, the Michigan State Senate voted 30-5 to authorize a change to the budget in order to pay the settlement to the bereaved family.
“The Michigan State Police regrets the tragic outcome of this incident, and while this settlement does not change what occurred, we hope it will provide some restitution to the involved families,” said the Michigan State Police in a statement.
The incident took place on July 3, 2014. Timothy Fagin noticed Curtis Lee driving a dark-green Pontiac sedan without his seat belt. Fagin turned on his emergency light and pursued the suspect, but Lee did not pull over.
Officer Timothy Fagin chased the Pontiac at nearly double the speed limit through several intersections without wrecking, until finally they crossed paths with a Chevrolet driven by Precious Cochran with her daughter and her friend Jacqueline Nichols in tow. Curtis Lee sped through the red light, missing the vehicle, but Timothy Fagin crashed into the Chevrolet on the passenger’s side.
“Before I could stop or maneuver to avoid the vehicle, my patrol vehicle struck the other vehicle on the passenger’s side,” said Timothy Fagin said in his report.
Both Cochran and her daughter were severely injured, but survived the crash. Jacqueline Nichols was thrown from the vehicle, apparently killed on impact.
“I immediately began to perform CPR on the female with the assistance of an unknown civilian who advised me that she was trained in CPR,” Timothy Fagin said. “I performed CPR on the female until a Genesee County Sheriff paramedic arrived on scene to relieve me.”
Jacqueline Nichols was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. She was on her way to the salon.
If you want to watch the moments leading up to the collision between Timothy Fagin and Precious Cochran, watch the dash cam footage at the top of the page.
Curtis Lee was later arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding. At his trial, trooper Timothy Fagin declined to testify against him, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself, most likely pertaining to the death of Jacqueline Nichols.
More than a year later, Timothy Fagin would finally face consequences for killing the innocent bystander. He agreed to the 72 hours of suspension, missing six 12-hour work shifts.
How do you think officer Timothy Fagin should be punished for running a red light and killing an old woman? Is 72 hours of suspension enough, or would you see the trooper behind bars?
[Photos courtesy of the Nichols’ family and the Michigan State Police]