The Atlanta Injury News Blog

DeKalb Officer Fired for Killing Pedestrian While Speeding

In May, 28-year-old Clifton Hightower was killed when a police car hit him as he was crossing the street.

DeKalb County Police Officer Jason Cooper, who drove the cruiser, was reportedly speeding without his lights on when the accident occurred. He's since been fired from his position, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Hightower's relatives may want to pursue legal action against the former officer to receive compensation for their loss.

According to investigators, Cooper was responding to a call about a shooting on the night Highwater was killed. He was reportedly driving 80 mph without his siren or lights on.

Highwater was on his way to babysit for his sister when he crossed the street and was hit by Cooper, investigators said.

"Eighty miles per hour with no light, that's a mad man. I want the prosecutors to do make an example out of him so it won't ever happen again," said Hightower's stepfather Michael Davis.

On top of any criminal charges that may be filed, Hightower's family may want to file a wrongful death suit against Cooper. Wrongful death suits allow a victim's family to receive compensation from the person or entity whose negligence caused the death.

Hightower's family would probably argue that Cooper owed the public a duty to drive safely, and that by speeding without his lights on, he breached that duty and caused Hightower's death. If successful, Hightower's family could recover damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost earnings, and the loss of parental consortium.

DeKalb's Solicitor General's Office has asked the district attorney's office to review Cooper's involvement in Highwater's death, so criminal charges may be pending.

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