SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – An elderly Santa Fe woman is suing the police and a car dealership, claiming they are both to blame for a chase that almost killed her. The bottom line: the truck that hit her was stolen from a dealership, which she thinks should never have happened.
This is an odd one: someone suing the victim of a car theft, saying if they had done more to prevent the theft, perhaps there never would have been a high-speed police chase.
The video is dash cam from the crash that ended in a police chase in April. The dark-colored Toyota Tacoma was stolen. Now, the driver of the white Subaru is suing Santa Fe Police and Toyota of Santa Fe, but the dealership said it is also the victim here.
“We first came to find out that we had a stolen vehicle because one was found somewhere else, so we immediately did another inventory and found out that vehicle was also one of the vehicles,” said Buddy Espinosa, general manager at Toyota of Santa Fe.
Toyota of Santa Fe said three vehicles were stolen the same day. The Tacoma truck involved in the crash was stolen from the back lot. According to the lawsuit, 78-year-old Arlena Jackson blames the dealership for the crash that left her with a dozen broken bones.
Also claiming the dealership endangered the public because it should know that stolen cars are far more likely to end up in crashes. The dealership said it does all it can to keep cars on their lots safe.
“We have wire and chain link fence around the lot it was stolen out of and the gates were locked with chains and they actually cut the chains and got into the lock box, stole the vehicle,” said Espinosa.
The lawsuit is also going after Santa Fe Police stating: “….pursued the Toyota Tacoma down narrow Santa Fe streets at dangerous speeds , sometimes in excess of 70mph.”
The one person missing from Jackson’s lawsuit? Jeremy Chavez, the man arrested after crashing the stolen truck.
The lawsuit does not say how much money Arlena Jackson is seeking in damages. Her lawyers did not get back to KRQE News 13.
According to the lawsuit, the 78-year-old woman fractured her sternum, pelvis, eight ribs, a foot and had bleeding in her lungs. She claims the doctor told her the crash robbed her of ten years of her life.