The family of a man who died in a wild police chase over the weekend is suing the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Police Department and the alleged driver for millions.
With their attorney close by, crash victim Henry Holt's family members spoke publicly on Thursday about the recent $7.4 million dollar lawsuit.
Fifty-five-year-old Holt died after Misty Shelton crashed a stolen Fayetteville police car into an SUV he was traveling in Saturday night.
Four others inside the vehicle were also injured.
Family's members told News 2 the tragic event should have never happened.
“Nothing can ever bring him back. We've been having to plan a funeral for somebody who didn't deserve to be where they're at now,” said family member Elizabeth Holt.
Shelton, who is also named in the lawsuit, is charged with vehicular homicide, felony fleeing and theft charges.
Investigators said Shelton stole the patrol car after officers arrested her for suspected shoplifting at a Dollar Store.
“It's certainly quite rare I think in the state of Tennessee for someone to actually procure a patrol car and go on to cause the mayhem this woman caused in it,” said the family's attorney Blair Durham of Bart Durham Injury Law.
The lawsuit claims the unnamed Fayetteville police officer who arrested Shelton did not properly restrain her.
The claim also states the officer did not handcuff Shelton and left her unattended in the back of the patrol car that was left running.
“If protocol would have would have came into play it should have never had happened. This could have been avoided,” said Holt's son-in-law, Jeff Gooding.
Durham said he encourages anyone who saw the arrest take place Saturday to contact his law firm.
“If anybody out there actually saw the arrest take place at Dollar General , please I implore you help this family, help them recover what they can't really recover and get their life back together,” said Durham.
Fayetteville's City Administrator Scott Collins released the following statement about the lawsuit, “We will not make a comment at this time. We have not received a copy of the lawsuit. Once we do, we will turn it over to a legal representative and made a statement at that time.”
The Fayetteville Police Department has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
- Sept. 1, 2013: Driver of stolen police car faces murder charge