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Utah Supreme Court rules on high speed chases

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must consider the safety of those they are chasing before engaging in a high speed chase.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must consider the safety of those they are chasing before engaging in a high speed chase.

It’s a ruling that could change the way police departments handle high speed chases.

“This is precedent setting, now we have a Supreme Court case,” says James McConkie Jr. Attorney for Wayne Torrie’s family.

It's a result of Wayne Torrie's last drive.
Three years ago, a Weber County Sheriff deputy tried to pull him over.
Torrie took off and crashed his vehicle.
The 16 year old took his mother's car after a troubling day in school.
She called police after her son made this threat.
He said that if the police chased him, he would hurt himself and right after that they found him and they chose to go chase him.

The family lawyer says the deputy knew who he was chasing and didn't have to go after him at speeds reaching 90 miles an hour.

“He could have stood down and then gone to the home the next day and charge him with fleeing from police officers and that's actually the policy. That's what should have happened in this case, but it didn't,” said McConkie Jr.

The Torries sued claiming the deputy and Weber County had no regard for their son's safety and caused his death.
Tuesday, the Utah Supreme Court agreed with the family saying "Law enforcement officers owe a legal duty to fleeing suspects."

It means the Torries can continue their lawsuit.

McConkie says this precedent-setting decision is good for everyone.

“I think it's going to cause police officers to be more careful. It will be good for them and their reputation. It will help the general public.”
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