Chicago ordered to pay $4.5M to bystander after suspects crash into her vehicle during police pursuit
Attorneys for the victim indicated the city was liable because officers did not terminate the pursuit earlier
By Ashley Silver
CHICAGO — After a two-week trial, a woman who suffered injuries during a 2016 Chicago police pursuit was awarded a $4.5 million settlement by the city.
According to Chicago 5 News, the crash occurred on the night of July 13, 2016. The victim, Shaunte Hill, could not recall many specific details from the accident but remembered her car being slammed into before ending up in a medical facility.
"I was approaching the intersection and I was hit – and I woke up 13 days later in the hospital," Hill said during the trial. "I just happened to be driving, wrong place, wrong time."
Officers were pursuing a stolen silver Kia when the crash happened. Evidence from the officer’s radio transmission indicated the patrol vehicle was following the suspect for several minutes with the lights deactivated as they ran the Kia’s license plate to confirm the vehicle had been stolen.
Dashcam video revealed the moment the officer attempted to stop the stolen vehicle, resulting in the car picking up speed to escape. Chicago 5 News reported the dashcam footage then abruptly disconnects.
Attorneys for Hill indicated officers violated Chicago police departmental policy by not ending the pursuit of the stolen car once the vehicle ran a red light. According to reports, a red-light camera showed the suspect’s vehicle speeding through a red stoplight, with six patrol vehicles close behind.
Just seconds after the officers radioed they would be terminating the pursuit, Hill’s car was struck by the fleeing suspects. As a result, she was in a coma for almost two weeks and underwent more than 10 surgeries over the course of two months. A jury awarded her the $4.5 million settlement last week based on the injuries sustained.