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High Speed Motorcycle Chase Ends in Tragedy

The relentless police pursuit of a motorcycle rider stretched over three New Jersey cities and resulted in the death of a passing motorist.

Officers in Paramus started chasing 31-year-old Salvatore Deangelis, of Harriman, after he allegedly failed to pull over. Mr. Deangelis accelerated onto Route 4, where officers apparently lost sight of him. Moments later, police in Hackensack spotted him and resumed the chase. During the pursuit, an officer slammed into a 67-year-old sedan driver on Summit Avenue; the man, whose name was not released, was declared dead at the scene. “I just heard that the cop was speeding to another incident and ran into the car at full speed,” said witness Latia Wall. “It’s really disheartening,” she added. Despite the crash, officers continued the pursuit, which eventually ended in Maywood, when Mr. Deangelis crashed into another civilian car near the intersection of Cole and Spring Valley. He remains hospitalized; authorities charged him with first-degree eluding.

At least one other person was also seriously injured.

Reckless Pursuits

The above incident did not occur in a vacuum. Just a few weeks earlier, a vehicle went airborne near Holy Trinity Church as Hackensack police pursued a nonviolent parole violator.

High-speed police pursuits put thousands of drivers and pedestrians at risk. Moreover, there is some evidence that suspects stop running if the police stop chasing. So, especially given the fact that spying technology has improved drastically in recent years, there may be little justification for dangerous pursuits of nonviolent offenders.

To obtain compensation, injured victims in these circumstances may use either negligence (the pursuing officers exhibited a conscious disregard for the safety and property of others) or negligence per se (the officers violated a do-not-pursue directive).

Juror Misconceptions About Bikers

Although it is nowhere nearly as strong as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, the motorcycle prejudice is still alive. Many people still believe, at least to some extent, that motorcycle riders are dangerous individuals.

To combat this prejudice, and others like it, an attorney can use the theatrical component of a jury trial. For example, many criminal defense lawyers utilize the so-called “nerd defense:” there is some evidence that jurors are less likely to convict defendants who wear eyeglasses.  So, by emphasizing a plaintiff’s good qualities, a prejudiced juror is more likely to render judgement based on the facts.

For prompt assistance with a car crash claim, contact the aggressive personal injury attorneys at Proner & Proner. We have six office locations in the Tri-State area.


Case Results

  • $3,300,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $2,000,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $1,100,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $930,000 - Wrongful Death Accident
  • $821,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $280,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle

View More Case Results

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