Family plans to sue city over pedestrian fatality

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

A lawyer representing the family of a Clovis woman who died after being struck by a police vehicle last week said he plans to sue the city.

Delores Jacks, 71, was struck Dec. 13 by a car driven by Clovis Police Lt. Roger Grah while he was on duty. She died later that night, officials have said.

A New Mexico State Police officer said Wednesday investigators have not yet completed their report on the accident. But preliminary findings and witness statements reflect that impact occurred in the middle of the street and that Jacks, “ran out in the road,” NMSP Capt. Oscar Gonzales said Wednesday.

The final report should be completed late next week, he said.

Clovis attorney Michael Garrett sent the notice of an upcoming lawsuit to the city of Clovis, the Clovis Police Department and the Risk Management Division of the State of New Mexico on Tuesday. The civil lawsuit will be filed in district court in one month, he said.

The notice states damages claimed by Jacks’ family will exceed $400,000 for wrongful death and civil rights violations to cover the cost of medical expenses, burial expenses, pain and suffering.

Garrett said the officer was not paying attention to the road when he hit Jacks.

“If he (Grah) had been conducting a proper lookout he wouldn’t have hit her,” Garrett said.

City officials declined comment on Wednesday. Grah also declined comment.