CHP officer found partly at blame for crash

| 6/27/2002

A Superior Court jury in Vista, CA, has found a California Highway Patrol officer partly to blame for a crash that severely injured four family members. The jury has yet to determine the amount of damages to be awarded.

The panel found that CHP officer Richard Hedgecock had been negligent in the way he handled a 1996 traffic stop on Highway 78 near San Diego. Hedgecock directed a speeding motorist to stop in a highway median.

While the motorist was stopped, a pickup truck veered into the median area and struck the Toyota Camry. One Camry passenger suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the crash. Three girls in the vehicle also were severely hurt, but have since recovered.

Hedgecock was found to be 45 percent at fault for the crash, and the pickup driver was 55 percent at fault. The pickup driver is not part of the current litigation.