As a Maryland personal injury attorney and motorcycle accident lawyer, my job is to help victims and their families recover from the aftermath of sometimes life-altering traffic collisions. Regardless of whether the individual is a driver or passenger, injuries sustained in a crash on city streets, open highways or rural country roads the results can be horribly expensive in both human and financial terms.
A recent article points out the dangers of police pursuit, especially in cases where life is lost. According to news reports, a Baltimore patrolman was suspended after he allegedly ignored orders to break off a chase with a biker allegedly riding a stolen Suzuki GSX 600. Police officials said that the 10-year department veteran had received orders to stop chasing a motorcyclist who was eventually killed in Cockeysville, MD, he apparently crashed as a result of the police pursuit.
Baltimore police are reportedly barred from chasing vehicles unless provided with specific orders to do so. The chase in question began on Northern Parkway after the officer, Timothy Beall, apparently saw the motorcyclist racing with another vehicle. According to the article, Officer Beall fatally shot a man in January 2009 when the suspect pointed an assault rifle at the officer during a foot chase in Better Waverly. The Baltimore Police Department ruled that the shooting was justified.
The recent pursuit of the motorcyclist occurred in the early morning hours when Beall observed the rider, identified as 27-year-old Haines E. Holloway-Lilliston, committing traffic violations in the city.
According to police reports, around 3am Maryland State Police were advised that a Baltimore city officer was behind a motorcycle that was speeding northbound on Interstate 83. Shortly thereafter, Officer Beall called the MSP barracks and stated that he believed the bike was stolen.
The chase apparently ended on an off-ramp from I-93 to Dulaney Valley Road when the rider lost control and crashed. Police said that Holloway-Lilliston was thrown from the bike onto the hood of the patrol car and finally hitting the roadway.
Troopers responding to the scene found the crash on the ramp involved the marked patrol vehicle and the motorcycle. Emergency crews and EMS workers responding to the crash pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene, likely due to massive injuries such as brain trauma.
According to the news article, a preliminary investigation indicated that the motorcycle was in front of the police car as both proceeded south on the off-ramp. No charges had been filed at the time of the article, however the completed investigation will likely be provided to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.
Baltimore officer suspended after chase ends in fatality, BaltimoreSun.com, July 25, 2010