Newschannel 6 is learning more about legal action that could be taken as a result of this crash. And we found out that the police or the city could actually sue the girls' families depending on how the investigation turns out.
Legal experts we spoke to say once the final and complete report is in, if the girls were found to have made any bad judgment, it's possible the city could sue for damage to the patrol unit and injuries. However, the families could also file suit, but Attorney Rick Bunch says they would have to decide whether to file against the city or the police department, not both.
Another attorney, Robert Massey says this could end up being the most severe type of personal injury lawsuit that exists in a wrongful death. Massey says, "When I first learned about this case, read about it learned about it. One word came to mind, tragedy. This is a tragedy. It's one of the most severe types of personal injury lawsuits that exists."
Attorney Ronnie Molina says the family has some time to decide. Molina says, "Procedurally on a case that would be brought by the family that would be a civil matter. You would have a two year Statute of limitation. And then on a criminal matter, depending on the level of a charge, it could be three years, five years, seven years, or indefinitely."
As far as criminal charges against Officer Whitefield, we do know that would be up to the district attorney to decide. Troopers say as soon as the Texas Department of Public Safety completes its report, the agency will hand over the findings to the District Attorney, that could take six months. The lawyers we spoke with say at that point, it could take up to a year to get the case in front of the Grand Jury. Attorney Rick Bunch says depending on the final outcome of the investigation, it is possible that the officer could face involuntary manslaughter charges.