Parents sue Mishawaka over fatal police pursuit crash

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The parents of a northern Indiana teenager who died along with her boyfriend when a vehicle being chased by police crashed into their car in 2020 is suing the city of Mishawaka.

The lawsuit filed by Elizabeth Johnson-Neher’s parents alleges that the December 2020 police pursuit was dangerous from the onset and that Mishawaka police officers were not properly trained in reasonable procedures governing such pursuits, the South Bend Tribune reported.

Johnson-Neher was 18 when she and her boyfriend, Clayton McClish, 19, died after his car was struck in an intersection by a vehicle fleeing police in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend.

McClish’s car was hit by a vehicle allegedly driven by 23-year-old Jesse Lottie, whom officers were chasing for allegedly breaking into a home.

Lottie was charged with resisting law enforcement and leaving the scene of a fatal crash. But court and jail records show he was never taken into custody and a warrant remains in place for his arrest.

Johnson-Neher’s parents filed their lawsuit last week in St. Joseph County. It seeks damages, including for suffering and mental anguish as a result of their daughter’s death, WBND-TV reported

A message seeking comment was left Friday by The Associated Press for a law firm that’s representing the city of Mishawaka.

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