Widow of Upstate firefighter killed in crash after chase files l - FOX Carolina 21

Widow of Upstate firefighter killed in crash after chase files lawsuit against former sheriff, sheriff's office

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Jordan Howard (Source: family) Jordan Howard (Source: family)

The family of an Upstate firefighter who troopers said was hit and killed by a driver fleeing Greenville County deputies has filed a lawsuit against former sheriff Steve Loftis and the sheriff’s office.

The widow of Jordan Howard is named as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed on August 16. Howard was riding his motorcycle into work at the North Greenville Fire Department in September 2015 when troopers said John William Kennedy crashed into Howard’s motorcycle on US 25.

Kennedy was reportedly fleeing Greenville County deputies when the crash occurred. Steve Loftis, who was sheriff at the time, stated deputies ended the pursuit before the crash, once Howard began driving the wrong way on the northbound side of the highway.

The lawsuit alleges that one deputy did not stop chasing once a radio call went out calling on deputies to end pursuit.

The lawsuit specifically names the deputy accused of continuing pursuit. It states South Carolina has statewide policies regarding police chases and said these policies require that the deputy “take into

account the risks of danger to the general public he is creating by pursuing a suspect into oncoming traffic and constantly weigh them against the need to catch a mere suspect.” The suit states the sheriff’s office “failed to properly train, supervise and discipline” the deputy on these pursuit tactics.

Loftis is named as a defendant because, as sheriff, the lawsuit states he “had responsibility for the management, training, and operation of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and was responsible for the actions of all deputies” under his command.

The lawsuit claims negligence and wrongful death because the defendants failed to ensure Howard’s safety, failed to adhere to proper procedures, failed to use discretion and consider other methods to capture the suspect, in addition to other allegations all of which the lawsuit alleges resulted in Howard’s unnecessary pain, suffering, death, and funeral expenses.

PREVIOUSLY: Driver trying to avoid law enforcement hit firefighter head-on

A spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office said the agency could not comment on any pending litigation.

The full lawsuit:

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