Family of Upstate woman injured in deputy-involved crash sues - FOX Carolina 21

Family of Upstate woman injured in deputy-involved crash sues

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Deputy-involved crash on Masters Boulevard (Oct. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina) Deputy-involved crash on Masters Boulevard (Oct. 29, 2016/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

According to court records, the family of a woman severely injured in an Anderson County deputy-involved crash has filed a lawsuit against the agency, the deputy cited in the crash and the county's sheriff.

On Oct. 19, 2016, troopers said an Anderson County deputy crossed the center line on Masters Boulevard and hit a 23-year-old female driver head-on who was on her way to work.

The female victim was not wearing a seat belt, according to troopers, and was entrapped in the vehicle. She was later airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital.

The deputy was also injured and transported to AnMed, but later released. He was charged with driving too fast for conditions.

A lawyer for the victim, Janel Harkness, said she suffered severe injuries in the crash including a broken leg, broken pelvis, and a brain bleed resulting in a permanent brain injury.

Harkness' mother, Felicia Harkness Dean, has filed a lawsuit against the deputy driving on the night of the crash, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride, and the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

The lawsuit claims the deputy was traveling nearly 80 miles per hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone without emergency lights or a siren activated. The lawsuit states the deputy was not responding to an emergency, a pursuit, or on official business when he crashed into Harkness at "conscious-shocking speed."

Dean now has to care for her daughter after the collision and the severe injuries she suffered, attorney Daniel Draisen said.

The lawsuit seeks damages against the deputy for gross negligence as well as McBride and the Anderson County Sheriff's Office for "not properly and sufficiently" training the deputy on vehicle operation.

The family is seeking damages for Harkness' ongoing medical treatment, attorneys fees and other relief as deemed appropriate by the court.

FOX Carolina has reached out to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office for comment on the lawsuit.

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