Devastating Injuries, Occasional Consequences: Examining the Impact of Frequent Police Crashes on Lives

Credits: Los Angeles Times

Deshane Levere found herself counting the blocks as she drove home after a family gathering in Syracuse, New York. It was a summer night around 3 a.m., and she was the designated driver, ensuring her stepdaughters and another passenger got home safely. Just three blocks away from her destination, her world turned upside down.

A police cruiser, without lights or sirens, careened through a red light, colliding with Levere’s sedan. The impact caused severe injuries to her neck and spine, setting off a decade-long struggle with pain that permeated her back, shoulders, and arms. Despite various treatments, the pain persisted, impacting her life profoundly.

Standing at the same intersection a decade later, Levere reflected on a failed court battle against the police, seeing a system that appeared more inclined to protect the officer than support innocent victims. Her lawsuit was dismissed on appeal, leaving her with little recourse to address the ongoing repercussions of the crash.

Devastating Casualties (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

Levere’s story is just one example of a broader crisis illuminated by the “Driving Force” project, a comprehensive investigation by the USA TODAY Network.

The project sheds light on the national issue of police officer-involved crashes, revealing the devastating impact on individuals and communities across the country.

These incidents, often overlooked, pose a significant public safety concern. The investigation explores the systemic challenges in holding law enforcement accountable and the profound consequences for victims like Deshane Levere.

The “Driving Force” project aims to bring attention to this critical issue and advocate for reforms that prioritize accountability, transparency, and justice in the aftermath of police-involved crashes.

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