Fort Worth City Council members discussed a wrongful death lawsuit — in which the mother of a man who died from a car accident while fleeing police has sued the city — in a closed meeting Tuesday.
The federal suit, filed in February by Mary Deal, the mother of Jakob Lange, alleges that Fort Worth police officers most likely used a tire-deflation device when Lange was fleeing from officers on Feb. 7, 2013. Lange, 24, died from injuries after he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree.
The city does not comment on pending litigation, said City Attorney Sarah Fullenwider, though the city did deny that it used a tire-deflation device in a motion filed to drop the case. The city also denies it is liable for any damages in the death.
Deal’s attorney, David Davis of Grand Prairie, did not return calls for comment.
Lange, a graduate of the University of North Texas, was leaving a club near TCU where he had performed as a musician when Fort Worth police officers observed him driving at an “excessive speed,” according to the lawsuit.
Lange then turned onto a one-way street in the wrong direction and “failed to yield and the pursuit lasted for several minutes,” the suit says. It then alleges that the police officers did not immediately turn on their lights or sirens in the pursuit.
Lange then “appeared to strike an object” and struck a tree. He died the next day. The suit claims Fort Worth recklessly employed a tire-deflation device to end the pursuit, but the city denies that such a device was used.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984