Michael Walker 29, Ana Cerrato 28, killed in NY Accident

Buffalo NY Accident kills Michael Walker 29, Ana Cerrato 28

Two lives were tragically lost in Buffalo, N.Y., when a stolen vehicle collided with a tree during a pursuit in Lockport on Saturday afternoon. The deceased have been identified as 29-year-old Michael L. Walker and 28-year-old Ana G. Cerrato, both residents of Rochester. Walker was driving, with Cerrato as the passenger. Authorities, in collaboration with the Lockport Police Department and the New York State Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation, are investigating the incident. Niagara County Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti revealed that the stolen vehicle failed to yield to law enforcement as it transitioned from Lockport into the city. The pursuit, initiated by a sheriff’s office vehicle, began after the car, reported stolen from Rochester, was spotted. Sheriff patrol officers were alerted to the stolen vehicle via a license plate reader just before 2 p.m. They tracked it to a gas station on Chestnut Ridge Road in Lockport, where they tried to instruct the occupants to exit the vehicle. However, the car sped westbound toward the city. In pursuit, a sheriff’s deputy observed the stolen vehicle disregarding traffic signals, including running red lights, until it lost control and collided with a tree.  Our top NY car accident lawyers are here to help.

The liability of a police department in cases where a person is killed in a reckless police chase can vary depending on various factors including the specific circumstances of the pursuit, relevant laws, and policies in place. However, generally speaking, if it can be demonstrated that the police officers engaged in reckless behavior or disregarded established protocols during the pursuit, leading to the death of an individual, there may be grounds for legal action against the department.

In such cases, the family or representatives of the deceased individual may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department or the officers involved. This lawsuit might allege negligence, excessive use of force, or failure to adhere to departmental policies and procedures regarding pursuits.

However, it’s important to note that police departments and officers are often afforded some degree of legal immunity or protection from liability, particularly if they were acting within the scope of their duties and in accordance with established protocols. Additionally, the outcome of any legal action will depend on the specific laws and precedents in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

Ultimately, determining the liability of a police department in cases of deaths resulting from reckless police chases requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the pursuit and the actions of the officers involved.


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