LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The mother of a Nebraska teenager killed when a stolen vehicle crashed during a police chase is seeking $1 million each from Lincoln police and Lancaster County.
Brandy Yost filed claims last month that said the officers involved in the December 2018 chase wrongfully caused the death of her 14-year-old son, Zayne Yost, of Lincoln. Her filing says the officers should have known the vehicle's driver was inexperienced and that there were no pressing reasons to continue the pursuit, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon declined to comment, and Sheriff Terry Wagner declined to comment on the internal review of his deputies' actions. Lincoln City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick told the newspaper his staff is reviewing the case and claim and hasn't yet decided whether to recommend City Council approve it.
The crash came after a group of boys found a sport utility vehicle unlocked and running early on Dec. 26, 2018. Two boys took the SUV and then picked up Yost and another teen. Police spotted the SUV but stopped a chase when the vehicle sped away. A Lancaster County deputy saw it again in downtown Lincoln and followed it onto Interstate 80, where the vehicle hit nearly 100 mph (161 kph) before crashing and rolling as it was exiting.
All the boys inside were taken to a hospital, where Zayne Yost was pronounced dead.
Two State Patrol troopers and a Lincoln police sergeant who reviewed a crash death investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol told a grand jury they did not believe there was any wrongdoing by the officers involved.
The boy who was driving has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and is trying to have his case remain in juvenile court. He's 16.
The Associated Press typically doesn't name juveniles charged with crimes.