$2.75M Settlement to Widow of Man Killed by Speeding Sheriff’s Car
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on July 14th, 2017
The widow of a 61-year-old New York state man who died when his SUV was struck by a speeding sheriff’s department car being operated by a deputy sheriff in 2015 will receive a $2.75 million settlement from the county government where the crash occurred.
Niagara County, N.Y., is paying the settlement to Mary A. Annalora, whose husband Glenn T. Annalora, died on Oct. 22, 2015, when his SUV was struck by the sheriff’s vehicle which ran a stop sign at North Ridge Road and Ridge Road in Cambria, N.Y., according to a July 10 story by The Buffalo News.
Sheriff’s Deputy James H. Bissell III was operating the patrol vehicle with its overhead emergency lights on when he ran the stop sign and smashed into the side of the SUV just after 7 p.m. that night. Mary Annalora was traveling with her husband in the vehicle at the time of the crash and received serious injuries, including fractured ribs and vertebrae.
Deputy Bissell had been working for the sheriff’s department for only 39 days at the time of the crash. He quit his job two months after the incident and later pleaded guilty to imprudent speed, running a stop sign and failure to yield right of way, the paper reported.
Mrs. Annalora filed her wrongful death lawsuit against the county in May 2015, alleging negligence by the deputy, who was on duty at the time of the incident. He was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the crash.
Evidence from a “black box” in Bissell’s sheriff’s car showed that he was driving 74 mph with his overhead lights on five seconds before the crash, but had hit the brakes and was going 53 mph at the time of impact, according to the district attorney’s office.
A trial in the case had been scheduled to begin on Sept. 25.
The $2.75 million settlement was approved July 12 in a special vote by the Niagara County Legislature.
These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
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