ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a woman who was killed in a crash with an Allegan County Sheriff’s Department cruiser has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department, county, township and the deputy who was driving.
The civil suit claims former Allegan County sheriff’s deputy Thomas Goggins was driving the cruiser carelessly and recklessly “at a dangerous rate of speed” at the time of the June 12 crash that killed Ofelia Nunez, 74, and seriously injured her husband Jose Nunez.
In September, Target 8 learned that in the seconds before the fatal collision, an Allegan County deputy was allegedly driving more than 90 mph with no lights or sirens.
Goggins and the field training officer who was riding with him have said they were trying to catch a speeding minivan. While facing misdemeanor charges last year, Goggins’ defense said he did exactly what he was trained to do when trying to catch a speeding driver.
But the state police report on the fatal crash shows an MSP detective sergeant questioned Goggins about a pizza order the deputies were scheduled to pick up within minutes of the crash.
The Nunez family is also suing the sheriff’s department and the county, who they say failed to properly train and supervise Goggins to make sure he was driving safely. They also accuse Lee Township of being responsible because it owned the cruiser Goggins was driving.
The lawsuit seeks more than $25,000 to cover Ofelia Nunez’s funeral and burial expenses plus costs, interest and attorney fees.
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday, as the the defendants’ lawyer.