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Family of 16-year-old settles with La Crosse County in fatal crash

As regular readers of our blog know, we've been following the story of the La Crosse County sheriff's deputy who in 2010 crashed at high speed into a car driven by a 16-year-old boy.

The teenager was killed in the car accident at Hwys. 35 and OT.

The parents filed a claim in December in which they stated that the negligence of the deputy caused the death of their son. They recently settled with La Crosse County for $525,153.75; nearly the full amount they'd requested in their claim.

As you undoubtedly know, the deputy drove her police cruiser through a red light at the intersection while responding to a call about a bar disturbance. She slammed into the teenager's car at an estimated 90 miles per hour.

However, a jury acquitted her of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle after a November 2011 trial.

Prosecutors had argued the deputy had been driving at speeds nearing 100 mph before the wreck. Wisconsin allows police officers to exceed speed limits in the course of their duties, but they must approach intersections at speeds enabling them to stop or slow for other traffic.

La Crosse County will pay $100,000 of the amount from its self-insurance fund, with the remainder paid by the Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company.

The settlement means the boy's parents, heirs and estate cannot file any future claims against the former deputy, the county or the insurance company.

The deputy is still appealing her firing.

Source: La Crosse Tribune: "County settles Jennings claim; $525K to be paid in fatal crash," Betsy Bloom, Jan. 20, 2012

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