- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - The family of a motorcyclist who was killed during a police chase is suing the Clearwater Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.

The lawsuit was filed in Pinellas County Court on Thursday on behalf of the family of Keith Williamson, who was killed in 2013 when he ran into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser.

Williamson’s family says he was being chased by a Clearwater police officer in violation of department policy that prohibits pursuits for non-violent offenders.

John Trevena, the attorney for the family, said in the lawsuit that the officer reached speeds of 145 mph during the chase.

At the time, the FHP told local media that the Clearwater officer almost immediately decided to call off any pursuit because of the dangerous speed, only following and flashing his lights for a short time.

The officer was later reprimanded for failing to use due care while trying to pull over Williamson and the group he was traveling with, while insisting it was not a pursuit.

The FHP report found that Williamson was at fault for causing the crash because of his speed, which officials said reached 127 mph.

Clearwater Police spokesman Rob Shaw said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation.


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