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Franklinton fighting fatal crash lawsuit

Posted July 8, 2008

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— The town of Franklinton has decided to fight a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Granville County sisters who died after they were hit by a chase suspect.

Clinton and Mary Ann Lunsford are claiming gross negligence on the part of Officer Michael Dunlap, as well as Franklinton Police Lt. John Green, Chief Ray Gilliam and the town of Franklinton.

The Lunsfords' daughters, Linsay, 18, and Maggie, 9, died Dec. 1, after Guy Christopher Ayscue fled from Dunlap and crashed his car head-on into theirs, the state Highway Patrol said.

Franklinton's attorney said the town is not liable for the their deaths.

The town is also trying to get the lawsuit transferred to Franklin County.

33 Comments

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  • lizard Jul 9, 2008

    Anyone who would blame the police for this instead of the criminal are part of the problem. Criminals want these people on the jury to vote their way. These peole are at fault for the way society is because they empower the evildoer.

  • leo-nc Jul 9, 2008

    I hope the city fights this thing all the way to the Supreme Court...

  • leo-nc Jul 9, 2008

    It would be nice if some of you people would put as much time in encouraging and changing our legal system as to keep criminals in jail instead of trying to limit the ability of those who put them there in the first place. If you could hate criminals as much as you hate the police, then something might be done. sad...

  • leo-nc Jul 9, 2008

    "...but was the officer a town cop, a county deputy??? Was he out of his jurisdiction? Should it have been taken over by Highway Patrol, or Granville County deputies instead of the Franklin County officer being 15 - 20 miles out of his area?"...

    You're right. The officer can chase all the way to Murphy from Franklinton as long as he doesn't pause the chase and then re-engage. This is state law. I hope nothing ever happens to me in a chase, so I can be chastised, scorned and treated like scum by the public, only because of doing my job.. At the same time, no one really ever speaking of the criminal who actually caused all of it.

  • fbguru Jul 9, 2008

    Ayscue started the chase and Ayscue could have ended it anytime by stopping...Agreed, but this person had been in the criminal justice system for a LONG time, and although his apprehension should not have comee down to this, it did, and with tragic consequences. Could not this officer and his superiors have apprehended this KNOWN offender at his residence? Or does he live in his car at all times and never run out of gas????????!!!!!!!!!!

  • moorecs Jul 9, 2008

    My opinion on why they are going after Franklin County is because this horrible accident happened in Granville County. I don't think the family is going after the officer in the chase, but his employer. I'm not very up to date on codes, laws, statutes etc...but was the officer a town cop, a county deputy??? Was he out of his jurisdiction? Should it have been taken over by Highway Patrol, or Granville County deputies instead of the Franklin County officer being 15 - 20 miles out of his area? I think you have to look at it from a different angle, rather than the way you immediately want to see it. I assume the family blames the Ayscue man if they want to place blame, I just think they are looking at the fact a Franklin County officer was in a high speed chase and contributed to the accident by continuing the chase. Is it the officer's fault the man hit the girls head on?? No, he wasn't driving the car that hit the girls. Did he contribute to the fatal wreck? Yes.

  • Whatever Geez Jul 9, 2008

    jlh4jdj: How about letting all criminals run around and get into trouble and b/c their running over the speed limit, we just let them go....how would you feel about your safety? Come on now...be real.

  • Whatever Geez Jul 9, 2008

    The lights came on, he should have stopped...case solved. I can't believe people would blame the police officer....if the police would have backed off, the same people would be up here raging about how the police officer should have pursued more....come on people...think about it.

  • Common Sense Man Jul 9, 2008

    "Some are great LEOs others seem to be only on a power trip."

    Are you saying that every officer that continues a chase is on a power trip? How would you know that? A lot of officers hate chases but realize it's part of the job.

  • aikenhp Jul 9, 2008

    Wow. Some of the comments on this case show breathtaking ignorance of the law. Much to the chagrin of the vocal minority who want to see the officer drawn and quartered, the family will never see a dime from this lawsuit. Case law is very specific and very settled in this matter. The officer did not kill those precious girls, that human debris who was fleeing arrest did. Had the officer lost control of his vehicle and caused the deaths, they would still have a steep burden to prove gross negligence (which is very close to the same burden of proof as criminal intent). But he didn't, Ayscue did.
    To those who have commented that he didn't speed until he was being chased, come on! He was an adult who knew the difference between right and wrong even if he didn't care. He made a conscious decision that he wasn't going to submit to lawful authority and he did not give a whit who else got hurt in his selfish flight. Ayscue started the chase and Ayscue could have ended it anytime by stopping.

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