SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One of the survivors of a two-city car chase that killed one person and injured four others has filed suit against the man charged in the case, along with the Shreveport and Bossier City police departments and the City of Shreveport itself.
The suit also names the individual police officers who gave chase and the insurance company that provides coverage to the City of Shreveport.
In the suit filed in Caddo District Court, which does not ask for a specific dollar amount, Jeremy Jefferson claims negligence across the board in the chase and resulting crash that happened early on the morning of Feb. 21, shortly after Bossier City officers tried to pull 33-year-old Robert Traylor over in a Ford 150 for a taillight violation as he was getting on I-20 from Old Minden Road.
Instead of stopping, Traylor allegedly got on I-20 and sped up. According to the lawsuit, the officers pursued in a chase that reached speeds of over 70 miles per hour “within residential areas and well-traveled streets including Stoner Avenue and Clyde Fant Parkway,” before entering downtown Shreveport, where Traylor headed westbound into oncoming traffic on Crockett, an eastbound one-way street.
The lawsuit states that Jefferson was driving his Chevrolet Camaro southbound in the 700 block of Spring Street when it was T-boned by Traylor’s F-150 as he was being chased by Shreveport and Bossier police, sending Jefferson’s Camaro crashing into another car. The driver of that car was not seriously injured, but a 23-year-old woman who was in the truck with Traylor died at the hospital and Jefferson suffered life threatening injuries, including head trauma and a broken neck. He has since undergone reconstructive surgery on his spine.
Traylor himself was seriously injured, along with another passenger in the truck. A sixth victim was treated for minor injuries.
Jefferson claims negligence on the part of all the defendants named in the suit, including careless operation of a vehicle; operating a vehicle the wrong way on a one-way street; failure to maintain proper lookout; engagement in a high-speed chase pursuit when (it was) unsafe to do so; failure to follow guidelines and internal regulations of the cities of Shreveport and Bossier; and failure to discontinue the pursuit when it started.
Traylor was arrested by Bossier police in March following his release from the hospital and charged with aggravated flight, three counts of false imprisonment, one count of resisting an officer, one count of DWI first offense, and several traffic violations.
Ten months later, he was released into the custody of Caddo Parish authorities and booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on charges of vehicular homicide, four counts of first-degree vehicle negligent injuring, aggravated flight from an officer, two counts of false imprisonment, one count of driving under the influence, one count of driving under suspension, and theft. He pleaded not guilty to those charges on Feb. 1 and remains held at CCC with bonds totaling $210,750.
The case was assigned to Caddo District Judge Ramone Lafitte, but no court dates are on the docket at this time. On Tuesday, the law firm representing Jefferson filed a motion asking for a 10-day notice of any future court dates that are placed on the docket.