Officer Over the Limit: W.F. Councilors Approve Settlement

Wichita Falls City Councilors voted Tuesday to approve a settlement in the Officer Over The Limit Case.  The settlement offer is for $225,000 to each family of Gloria Montoya and Yeni Lopez. Plus, an additional $50,000 for Yeni's brother who observed the accident. That equals a total of $500,000.

It was June 30th of 2011 when 13-year-old Gloria Montoya and 18-year-old Yeni Lopez, who was also eight months pregnant, lost their lives in a car accident involving former Wichita Falls police officer Teddy Whitefield.

Officer Whitefield crashed into a car carrying Gloria Montoya, Yeni Lopez and her unborn child, killing all of them.

Now seven months later, a settlement between the girls' families and the city is approved.  On Tuesday's City Council agenda, the councilors voted on an ordinance which settled the civil lawsuit filed by the victims' families.

City Attorney Miles Risely says the parents of both Lopez and Montoya will be given $225,000 each. Lopez's younger brother, listed as having a bystander claim, will also receive $31,000, the rest will go toward legal fees.

$500,000 is the maximum amount of money that can be given to the family by the city. The City Attorney says that is supported by the Texas Tort Claims Act, an act that puts a cap on the amount of money coming from the pockets of tax payers that can be given by the city for damages.

When asked if there would still be a possibility for the families to also sue Teddy Whitefield directly, the city attorney said the family only had the option of suing either the city or Whitefield, not both.

 Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.