Recently, a former police detective from Benbrook was arrested on suspicion of being involved in an August accident that injured four people in west Fort Worth.
In the early morning of August 24, a 2006 red Dodge pickup truck collided with a 2012 black Lincoln SUV at the intersection of the Interstate 30 service road and Ridgmar Boulevard. By the time the Fort Worth police arrived, all occupants of the Dodge pickup truck had disappeared. However, the police began to investigate who owned the pickup truck, and found business cards and registration belonging to Montgomery. They also noticed a police sticker on the back windshield. The Fort Worth police then launched a helicopter to find those who left the accident, and its infrared radar located a car near Montgomery’s property. The police pulled the car over, citing the driver — Benbrook Detective Jason Lee — with a traffic violation. Montgomery was a passenger in the car, and when Fort Worth police asked him about the pickup truck, Montgomery claimed that it had been stolen. However, the police noticed that Montgomery had red marks on his face. They eventually issued an arrest warrant for Montgomery.
The Benbrook police conducted its own internal investigation, which resulted in Montgomery and two other officers, Sergeant Chad Peabody and Lee, to resign from the department. Montgomery later turned himself in at the Tarrant County Jail, and was released on $15,000 bail.
One couple injured in the accident, Jeffrey and Abigail Panfil, have filed a lawsuit against Montgomery, accusing him of fleeing the scene of the accident. They seek no less than $100,000 in monetary damages for pain, impairment, anguish, and lost wages.
Members of the Benbrook Police Department are shocked at the latest developments, as Montgomery and Peabody had been there for 15 years, while Lee had been there for 10. Lee was not one of the occupants of the pickup truck, but was allegedly contacted after the accident to arrange a “getaway” car for the ones who were. As Benbrook’s Police Department is already short of staff, the officers’ resignations come at a bad time.
Police officers are given the responsibility of maintaining the law and keeping the peace, so it feels like a betrayal whenever one is found to be in such blatant violation of the law, especially when that betrayal endangers lives. No matter who you are, if you drive a vehicle, you have a duty of reasonable care to other drivers and to passengers, which means following the law to the extent possible. Those who are injured in a car accident can argue that the other driver breached his or her duty, that the breach caused the injury, and that the injury resulted in damage, such as a serious physical injury. Injured parties near Fort Worth should contact an experienced Fort Worth car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Bill Berenson has been representing Texans injured in accidents for more than 30 years. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, he represents clients seriously injured by accidents involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles. If you want a Board Certified personal injury specialist who will provide you with compassionate legal representation, contact him today to schedule a free initial consultation.