Sarasota County has denied any wrongdoing on the part of the Sheriff’s Office in the death of Siesta Key resident Donna Chen, according to a letter from Deputy County Attorney Frederick Elbrecht to the family’s legal counsel, Damian Mallard.
Chen was struck and killed Jan. 7, by a car driven by Blake Talman, who was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter. Deputies made contact with Talman twice before the accident and arrested one of the 23-year-old’s friends for disorderly intoxication.
Mallard gave notice April 25 of a pending lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office for negligence in the incident, which was officially filed in December.
“Based on the applicable facts and law, we do not believe the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office bears any liability for the tragic death of Donna Chen,” said the four-line letter from Elbrecht.
“If they don’t think there was any wrongdoing, we’ll have a jury trial and let the people of Sarasota County decide who’s right and wrong,” Mallard said in a Jan. 3 phone interview.
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- My heart goes out to the family! Still bothered that this road in this exact same spot can be a nightmare every single day. People try to enjoy it...running, biking, walking...but it is very scary. Children can not even safely cross the road to get to their bus stop without nearly being run down by cars going to fast, texting, running the actual bus as it is stopped, driving into the sidewalk to get around other cars, and then add some alcohol into the mix...DISASTER! It's a shame...no one wants to hear it...but every life counts...and even one preventable loss is too many! wish someone would do something about that road...before there is another horrific tragedy for another family to grieve. RIP Mrs. Chen...I didn't know you, but I think about you at least twice a day while trying to get my little kids to the school bus in one piece!
- How many times have we heard this. Police are seldom, if ever, held accountable for their actions or in this case inactions.
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