Recently, a high speed police chase in southern Mississippi ended in a serious car accident involving an innocent man and his son. Sabree Rashid, of Gauthier, says he and his teenage son are grateful to be alive after the high speed collision. Rashid was driving with his son on a Tuesday evening in Biloxi. He entered the intersection of Keller Ave. and Esters Boulevard without any idea what await. Suddenly, Rashid glimpsed a Ford F-150 truck careening towards him at a whopping 75 miles per hour.
With just seconds to react, Rashid mercifully managed to swerve enough that the vehicle narrowly missed colliding with his passenger side, where his teenage son sat. Both Rashid and his son were injured in the crash, which left Rashid’s vehicle badly damaged and likely un-drivable.
The cause of this crash was a bit out of the ordinary. The F-150 that rammed into Rashid was being pursued by a police cruiser. The driver of the vehicle, Kenneth Andersen, was a fugitive from the law, sought for felony fraud. Moments before the crash, a police officer drove past Andersen’s vehicle and glanced at its driver. This caused Andersen to take flight. A high speed chase ensued. Andersen sped through the streets of Biloxi attempting to shake the police officer on his tail, leading to the crash with Rashid.
Rashid has publically questioned the decision of the police officer to engage in a high speed chase with Andersen. He pointed to the relatively minor offense for which Andersen was sought and urged that, in this scenario, the chase was not justified as it endangered innocent lives such as his. Police officers reiterated that the chase was not initiated as a result of Andersen’s warrant—it was Andersen who sped away in a reckless manner upon viewing the police officer. Under these circumstances, the officer stated he had no choice but to pursue the vehicle because it was driving highly erratically.
Andersen was eventually apprehended after he attempted to flee the scene of the crash. He faces numerous criminal charges in addition to his original charge, including resisting arrest and fleeing the scene of an accident.
Rashid’s tale does call into question the safety of innocent travelers caught in the midst of high speed police chases. Statistics gathered by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal the deadly nature of police chases for innocent individuals. A study completed using data collected over a nine year period found that police chases led to over 3,000 deaths. Of this total, one third of the individuals killed were not the suspects being pursued. This means that over 1,000 innocent victims were killed in police pursuits.
The cause of these tragic deaths is due to the high speeds with which both officers and suspects travel during a chase, and the often erratic nature of the driving. Most high speed chases additionally occur at night and suspects often take to busy roads in an attempt to conceal themselves among other vehicles.
Thankfully, Rashid and his son will fully recover from their injuries and Andersen will likely be brought to justice for his actions. Local police continue to maintain the crash, while horrific, was not due to negligence on the part of the pursuing police officer.
The Giddens Law Firm is comprised of a team of expert automobile accident attorneys who strive above all else to ensure you receive the recourse you deserve. With over 20 years experience representing accident victims in the Jackson, Mississippi area, our seasoned attorneys at will provide you with the knowledgeable, aggressive, and zealous representation necessary to achieve your full recovery. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call us today at 601-355-2022 to schedule a free consultation.