Home Vehicle Accidents Family of 18-year-old killed in Alabama police chase files wrongful death lawsuit

Family of 18-year-old killed in Alabama police chase files wrongful death lawsuit

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The family of an 18-year-old Alabama girl who was killed in 2021 after a crash involving a police officer have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.

Kenya Reed, a McIntosh High School cheerleader and basketball player, was killed on Jan. 10, 2021, at the intersection of I-65 and West Lee Street in Chickasaw.

According to the suit, Reed was inside of her car on the on-ramp to I-65, when former Chickasaw Police Officer Joseph Hand collided into the driver’s side while responding to a request for backup from another agency.

Hand, the suit alleges, was driving 96 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour speed zone at the time of the crash.

“Defendant Hand’s conduct was outrageous under the circumstances with no reasonable justifying basis,” the suit reads.

The sentiment was shared at a news conference in Mobile on Thursday, where an attorney representing the Reed family along with her family gathered to share more details about the lawsuit.

“We’re here today and we shouldn’t be, frankly,” attorney John Givens said at the conference, according to WALA. “Driving the way he was driving that day was, frankly, inexcusable.”

Reed’s aunt, according to the outlet, was emotional when asked about her.

“Kenya was a go-getter. Whatever she set her mind into doing, she did,” Jessica West said to the gathered crowd.

According to the suit, Hand has a history of reckless driving while in a police vehicle before Reed’s death. One incident occurred in June of 2020 while he was in Chickasaw police cruiser.

Hand was instructed to end his pursuit of a suspect near I-65 and Celeste Road and allow a Saraland police officer to take over. Instead, according to the suit, Hand eventually crashed into the officer’s police cruiser, as the officer began his pursuit.

Further investigation found that Hand was not using his emergency lights during the pursuit.

Both Hand and the City of Chickasaw are involved in the suit and the family is seeking unspecified damages for the incident.

To read the full complaint, click here.

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