The Maine Municipal Association Property &
Both Brewer and Vitale were passengers in the 2001 Subaru Outback driven by 17-year-old
Byras and Brewer died instantly. Vitale suffered injuries to an ankle, police said at the time of the crash. The Vitale notice of intent to sue the town stated the teen suffered serious and permanent personal and psychological injuries, she lost her friend Brewer in the crash, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the loss.
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"This was one of the saddest cases I've ever been a part of. Kara's death had a profound impact on her family, friends and the entire midcoast. Her family continues to grieve, and we ask that people respect their privacy, " attorney
Gideon, who represented the Brewer estate, would not discuss the amount of the settlement or details of the negotiations that have occurred during the past few months with
"At its core, this case was about the policies and laws that govern the actions of police officers. We have great respect for
The Brewer estate had filed a
"The town concurred in the Pool's decision to resolve the claims that arose from this tragic event without protracted litigation, for the sake of all concerned," Bates said.
Both notices of claims filed against the town contended that Cooley violated
Cooley pursued the car driven by Byras after the teen failed to stop when the officer tried to pull him over for speeding on
Cooley had issued a ticket to Byras about an hour earlier for driving 74 mph in a 55-mph zone on the same road.
The claims point out that the local department's policy states that only full-time law enforcement officers may participate in a high-speed pursuit. Cooley was not certified as a full-time officer but as a part-time officer.
The notices also argued that Cooley violated the provision that states a law enforcement officer "shall not engage in high-speed pursuit if the operator is known" to the officer unless there is "a serious indication of further violent actions if not immediately apprehended." Further, the two parties say Cooley violated the clause that states an officer "shall not pursue vehicles for Class D and E crimes or traffic violations, unless the conditions surrounding the pursuit are conducive to safe operation, management and due regard for the safety of the officer, the public and the person or persons in the vehicle being pursued."
In the past 20 years, Cooley has split his time between being the administrative assistant to the chief and a patrol officer with the
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