State sides with city in police-involved accident - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

State sides with city in police-involved accident

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Officer Jason Campbell Officer Jason Campbell
GREENVILLE, N.C. - 2,335, that's the number of days since a Greenville Police officer killed Patty Greene's husband.

On April 14, 2007 Greene got an eerie phone call. She said, "I think your husband has been in a car wreck."

At first she didn't believe it. But once she arrived at the hospital, she learned that her husband Billy Ray was involved in a serious accident and it was unlikely he'd survive.

Police say Officer Jason Campbell collided with Greene's jeep. Campbell was pursuing a drug suspect and chose not to turn on his sirens or lights. "Just because he wears a uniform doesn't make him a hero. My opinion and this is just my opinion, he murdered my husband." Greene said.

Following Billy Ray's death, the family racked up thousands of dollars in bills and sued the city for damages."$8000 towing bill, $3000 hospital bill, attorney fees, all for something I had nothing to do with. I did not do anything to deserve the fees and money I have to pay now. Hopefully, you'll never lose somebody like we did. The days get better, some days are terrible."---Monday was a terrible one.

Greene’s attorney called to say the state Supreme Court threw out the case. William Little, Greenville’s Assistant City Attorney said, “Under North Carolina law a police is entitled to pursue a suspect."

"I feel like if he had lights and sirens on my bill would have had a chance to move over and he would still be here today." We asked Greene what if the lights and sirens were used; she says things would be different.

N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-145 "[This] exemption shall not, however, protect the driver of any such vehicle from the consequence of a reckless disregard of the safety of others" is the law in question.

It essentially says that for a police officer, his employer or their insurance company to be held responsible for damages caused in a high speed chase, the injured party must prove more than ordinary negligence. The state did not find gross negligence, and chose not to hear the case.

The Greene family is currently considering their options. The NAACP confirms they are investigating her complaint at this time.
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