The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports on a stolen delivery truck that struck pedestrians and a police car during a chase.
At about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, police responded to a call about the theft of a delivery vehicle outside an Auto Zone in Jonesboro.
The delivery driver had left the keys in the ignition and ran back into the store for a forgotten item. When he returned to the delivery truck, the 16-year-old suspect was behind the wheel and acted like he had a gun. He then backed away and took off in the truck.
Police began a chase down Mount Zion Boulevard and the stolen delivery vehicle hit a police car. He then ran a red light and hit another truck. This caused the truck to spin out of control, which then struck three pedestrians who were standing in the median.
The three pedestrians were trying to flag down cars to solicit money for a fundraiser. They were all taken to the hospital to be treated for broken bones. One of the pedestrians was treated for head trauma.
The identity of the 16-year-old suspect has not been released due to his minor status. He is facing several felony charges.
Generally, the owner of a vehicle that is stolen and later in an accident will not be liable for an accident that the driver operating the vehicle causes. However, what is a generality without exceptions? Some jurisdictions have statutes which may hold an owner liable if they leave the car running or the keys in the ignition and then leave the vehicle unattended if that vehicle is subsequently stolen and gets into an accident. This falls under the “foreseeable” consequence rule of law, which can hold an owner liable if a jury believes that the theft was a foreseeable consequence and the owner did not protect the vehicle from that consequence.
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