A woman whose minivan collided with a Tacoma police car last year is suing the city, contending the officer was at fault for the wreck.
Kaitlynn Stafford seeks an unspecified dollar amount for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Attorney Patrick Leahy filed the lawsuit on Stafford’s behalf last week in Pierce County Superior Court. It also names as defendants the Tacoma Police Department and officer Zachary Smalls.
Stafford contends officer Smalls did not exercise proper care when he ran a red light and smashed into her van as he was responding to a burglary-in-progress call April 18, 2014.
“The defendant was inattentive, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to observe the plaintiff’s vehicle, failed to stop and was otherwise negligent,” the lawsuit states.
Police spokesman Loretta Cool declined to comment about the lawsuit, saying it’s the department’s policy not to talk publicly about pending litigation.
Smalls remains on the force, Cool said.
The collision occurred about 11:45 a.m. at North 11th Street and Union Avenue.
Stafford was traveling east on 11th Street with a green light, according to her lawsuit, when Smalls entered the intersection northbound on Union Avenue and slammed into her car.
His patrol car then hit a utility pole, police reported at the time. The patrol car was totaled, and Smalls was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
Smalls was traveling with his car’s emergency lights and siren activated as he rushed to help a fellow officer who had a suspected burglar at gunpoint, according to news accounts from that time.
The extent of Stafford’s injuries has not been disclosed.