LOXLEY, Alabama — The estates of a father and son killed in a head-on collision with a vehicle involved a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 10 in April of 2019, have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against a Loxley police officer, the town of Loxley and Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack.
Officials with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reported on April 4, 2019 that 81-year-old Joseph L. Andrews had died from injuries sustained when the 2018 Ford Escape he was driving hit head-on with a 2019 Chevrolet Malibu traveling the wrong way while fleeing from an officer at the time identified as a Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Andrews had been airlifted to University Hospital in Mobile for treatment of serious injuries. His son, 54-year-old Kevin J. Andrews, was pronounced dead at the scene. Both men were using seat belts, according to an ALEA release issued April 2.
The crash occurred Monday, April 1 when the officer, which has now been identified as Loxley Police Officer Stephen Bailey, who was acting under the supervision of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, attempted to stop the Malibu traveling east bound on I-10 at the 49-mile marker, approximately four miles west of the Wilcox exit. The stop was for a moving violation witnessed by Bailey, according to a BCSO release issued April 1.
The vehicle accelerated attempting to out-run Bailey. The vehicle exited I-10 at the Wilcox exit and reentered the interstate west bound. The vehicle then exited the interstate and went south bound on the Baldwin Beach Express. The vehicle did a U-turn on the Baldwin Beach Express and reentered the interstate west bound.
Bailey continued to try and stop the vehicle as it continued west bound. The suspect vehicle did a U-turn on the interstate and drove east bound in the west bound lane at a high rate of speed.
Bailey lost sight of the suspect vehicle as it continued to drive into oncoming traffic. The suspect impacted the Escape head-on as it was traveling west bound.
The suspect vehicle rolled over the guard rail and caught fire in the outside median of the interstate. The driver, identified as Dominic Scottie Garcia Jr., and both passengers inside the fleeing vehicle were also pronounced dead at the scene, according to the ALEA release.
According to media reports, on Thursday, the two-year anniversary of the crash, the estates of Kevin and Joseph Andrews filed a civil complaint in Baldwin County Circuit Court alleging that Bailey acted recklessly and was “deliberately indifferent to the constitutional rights of the Plaintiffs’ deceased, despite the fact that he had time to consider his actions and terminate the high-speed chase.”
The complaint also alleged that Mack was “deliberately indifferent” to the fact that officers under his supervision were engaging in unconstitutional conduct.
The town of Loxley is also named in the lawsuit for “failure to train its officers on the dangers of high-speed chases; failure to discipline officers when they initiated high-speed chases inappropriately; and failure to adopt policies that prevent citizens’ loss of life, liberty and property.”