Last year, a man was driving his dirt bike through the streets of the Bronx with one passenger aboard. Because the man was illegally riding the bike, New York City police attempted to stop the man from riding any further. In the process, the two men on the bike crashed and the passenger died.
After the motorcycle accident, the man operating the bike was put on trial for illegally operating the motor vehicle and accidentally causing the death of his passenger. New developments in the case, however, have put a wrinkle in the criminal prosecution. Namely, surveillance videos showed that the police cruiser struck the man's dirt bike, which caused it to crash.
Most recently, prosecutors submitted a request to use another video in their efforts to convict the man of reckless endangerment. This footage apparently shows the bike traveling the wrong way down the road. The judge assigned to the case will determine if it can be admitted as evidence since it was introduced after the beginning of the trial.
This case raises a whole host of questions about exactly who is responsible for this fatal accident. Motorcycles are notorious for being dangerous, so anyone carrying a passenger on a motorcycle should use extreme caution. As such, the family of the victim may be able to pursue a wrongful death suit for the driver's negligence.
At the same time, it may be determined that the police officers' actions contributed to the crash. Filing a civil claim against a municipality is more complicated than suing a private party, so it may be beneficial for those affected by this incident to weigh all of their legal options.
Source: News 12, "New surveillance video introduced in fatal dirt bike trial of Adalberto Gonzalez," April 8, 2013