On November 17, 2010, a Clovis police officer was driving his police vehicle during his lunch break. He was eastbound on Grand Street. He was traveling
56 mph in a 35 mph zone.
The officer failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Grand and Sycamore. He collided with a pickup truck in the intersection. The driver of the pickup was hospitalized with multiple fractures. The passenger was fatally injured.
On January 21, 2011, the police officer was indicted by a Curry County grand jury. The grand jury found that the police officer had been driving recklessly. He was indicted for two felonies: homicide by vehicle and great bodily harm by vehicle.
The police officer denies that he was using his cell phone at the time of the collision. The cell phone records have not yet been released.
The speed of the police vehicle, before and at the time of the collision, was captured on a recording device in the vehicle. The recording was triggered by the deployment of the airbags. The vehicle was accelerating at the time of impact. One second before impact, the speed was 56 mph. It is evident from the speed of the police vehicle that the police officer did not stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Grand and Sycamore.
Under New Mexico law, the City of Clovis is liable for damages caused by the negligence of the police officer. A New Mexico personal injury lawyer could file suit against the city for wrongful death damages caused by the negligence of the police officer. The city is also liable for the bodily injury damages suffered by the driver of the pickup. Under the New Mexico tort claims act law, the liability of the City of Clovis is capped at $750,000.00, plus medical expenses.