While police officers are trained to safely operate their vehicles in a manner necessary to do their jobs quickly, which includes driving most would consider aggressive. Most of the time, officers do a perfectly acceptable job of managing their vehicles safely while in route to calls or when pursuing a suspect, but accidents do happen unfortunately.
In September of 2014, Lake County (Calif.) Sherrif’s deputy Richard Kreutzer was driving behind a semi truck on a winding, wet highway. Whole there is no information associated with the video that says definitively what the situation was, Kreutzer was obviously in a rush and had his lights on, because the semi pulled over out of his way to allow the cruiser to pass. As the truck driver did so, the onboard telemetry shows that he dropped the accelerator to the floor, causing his patrol car to lose traction and veer into the opposite lane. In that lane, Marc Loberg was traveling in the opposite direction and the two cars collided at a fairly high rate of speed.
After a lengthy period in the legal system – waiting over 3 years for a settlement or verdict is ridiculous, but that’s a discussion for another article – the case resulted in a $2 million verdict in favor of Loman. We don’t have the details of the ruling, but having served on the jury for a civil case, I can tell you that even though the burden of proof is different than that of a criminal case, this is pretty obvious based solely on the video below.
We don’t have details, but it’s obvious from the dashcam footage that this was a brutal crash, likely injuring both drivers. However, there’s no denying that Kreutzer was the one at fault, having exited his lane and entered that of Loberg. While it was certainly unintentional, that doesn’t absolve the officer of responsibility, and we certainly agree with the ruling. The amount of the judgement seems reasonable, although without more details its hard to say for sure. $2 million should cover a great deal of medical expenses, buy Loberg a new vehicle and leave him some money to cover his living expenses if needed while he continues to recover from his injuries. We hope the injuries weren’t debilitating for either driver and they’re both able to go on with their lives, perhaps a little more wary of wet, winding roads.