Monday, March 01, 2010

Civil Trial Begins for Officer Jason Smith

A civil trial began Monday in Trumbull County for a police officer involved in a fatal car accident.

Cassandra Thompson died in 2006 after being hit by a Cortland police cruiser driven by officer Jason Smith on South High Street.

Troopers investigating the accident then said the 16-year-old walked out in front of the cruiser, which didn't have its sirens or lights activated even though the officer was responding to a fight at a high rate of speed. Police did not have sufficient evidence to charge patrolman Jason Smith, who was driving the cruiser, with a crime.

Surviving members of the victim are seeking damages from the city of Cortland, its police department and Smith.

A jury in the wrongful death lawsuit was seated Monday and began hearing testimony. The trial is expected to last several days.

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