A routine police training exercise turned into tragedy for an Ohio police officer who died in a fatal motorcycle accident. His estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the motorcycle's manufacturers and other defendants.
The crash victim was a 46-year-old police officer for the Hilliard, Ohio police department, according to the lawsuit. During a training exercise on May 19, 2016, the front wheel of his motorcycle hit the left rear saddlebag on another officer's cycle while they were traveling on an off-ramp. His motorcycle crashed into a retaining wall while going 60 miles per hour. The officer was then thrown over the wall to a 30-foot drop in a grassy area. He was pronounced dead from head and torso injuries seven minutes later.
The officer was riding a Stealth Command I, which was based on Victory Motorcycle's popular Victory Cross Country bagger. This cause of action was filed against Polaris Industries, which owned Victory Motorcycles before it went out of business in early 2017. Another independent business, Victory Police motorcycles, refurbished these motorcycles into police vehicles and was also named as a defendant. Victory Police's director of sales and a trainer employed by Polaris were the other defendants.
The plaintiffs charged that Victory Police and Polaris did not adequately train and instruct the police officers in executing close-proximity procession formations. The estate asked for money damages, pain and suffering damages, funeral expenses and legal fees in its lawsuit. The surviving family members include the victim's two children, mother, sister and brother.
Polaris denied that it owns or controls Victory Police Motorcycles and any role in the sale of the motorcycles to Hilliard Police Department. It also said that it was not involved in the training where this fatality occurred.
Families who suffer the loss of a loved one should seek legal representation to help assure that they can seek compensation and damages. An attorney can help gather evidence, assure that it is properly reviewed and file a timely lawsuit.
Source: The Drive, "Ohio police officer's estate suing Polaris over fatal Victory motorcycle crash," Eric Brandt, Jan. 17, 2018