Christopher McConnell and a group of his friends liked to meet up on weekend mornings and ride their bikes down to the beach to grab breakfast. After the 61-year-old suffered serious injuries after being hit by a car – including 30 stitches to his head and broken ribs – he could have put his bicycle away. But four months later, he was ready to pedal again.
As McConnell and three friends headed out, a speeding car hit a car that was stopped at an intersection, spun out of control, and then smashed into McConnell and another cyclist, killing them instantly. The driver of the speeding car, which may have been traveling over 110 miles per hour, was being pursued by Broward County police at the time of the collision.
The driver has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Initiating a civil lawsuit against the driver for wrongful death would probably not be advisable. However, the behavior of the police in this matter raises serious questions. High-speed chases are supposed to be reserved for violent felons who are escaping the scene of a crime, since they always pose a danger to other drivers – and bicyclists and pedestrians. The driver had been seen breaking into cars.
The police department will conduct an investigation into the actions of the officers who decided to start the chase. If it turns out that the officers did not follow standard procedures or used bad judgment, they may be liable for the deaths of the two bicyclists.