Gwinnett County Cop Arrested for DUI Also Involved in Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Last month, we reported on a Gwinnett County police officer arrested after being involved in a DUI accident. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, it now turns out that police officer James Stoudenmire had also been involved in another fatal accident, which has resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against the County.
On December 15th 2006, Stoudenmire, according to the lawsuit, was traveling on US 78 at a speed of between 78 to 80mph. The lawsuit alleges that he was driving with no sirens or flashing lights when he crashed his car into another vehicle, being driven by Willie Allen Sergeant Jr. Stoudenmire at the time was responding to a code three call. Officers responding to a code three call must obey speeds limits, and all traffic control devices. The crash killed Sergeant, and his family in December 2008 filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Gwinnett County.
After the fatal accident, Stoudenmire was suspended, and underwent training on the proper use of emergency vehicles. Gwinnett County’s response to the lawsuit says that Sergeant had consumed alcohol, and was therefore negligent. He was also found to be at fault for his failure to yield while turning left. That lawsuit could end up in trial early next year. Lawyers for Willie Sergeant’s family are confident that Stoudenmire’s recent errors for DUI strengthen their case.
Stoudenmire, as we reported on our blog earlier, had been a cop for 4 years, and during that period of time, has caused one fatal accident, and been involved in another fairly serious one that ended in injury. It seems like the police department here had fair warning about this officer’s propensity for reckless driving, and failed to take steps to correct his behavior.