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Police agencies and emergency dispatchers being sued over Millcreek accident

(Cindreia Europe. Photo provided by attorney Eric Hinckley)

MILLCREEK – The Unified Police Department, one of their officers, emergency dispatchers and West Valley PD could be heading to court.  The family of a woman who was run over by an officer in Millcreek is suing, claiming all of them were negligent and partially responsible for her death.

The lawsuit claims someone called 911 after seeing Cindreia Europe on the ground in a parking lot near a Zions Bank last March.  However, attorneys claim that information wasn’t passed along to the officers responding to the call.

“The concerned citizen that called in the welfare check specifically indicates, ‘This person is laying down in the parking lot,’ and, ‘I would hate to see them get run over,’” according to Eric Hinckley, the attorney for Europe’s mother.

Hinckley says UPD Officer Megan Franklin drove too quickly when she entered the parking lot, hit Europe and kept driving, not realizing she hit anything.  He says Europe was dragged, and Franklin appears to have run over Europe again when she turned left.

(Photo: Eric Hinckley, taken from surveillance video)

He says, “The distance has been measured from this initial point of impact to where her body came to rest as nearly 50 feet.”

However, Hinckley doesn’t know why she was laying on the ground in the first place.  He says her toxicology report didn’t show she had any drugs in her system, and, as far as he knows, she wasn’t sick.

“That question may go unanswered because we can’t ask her.  She’s no longer with us,” Hinckley says.

The lawsuit says not only was Franklin negligent when she hit Europe, but UPD was negligent for hiring Franklin.  Hinckley says Franklin has a history of crashes while she was working for the West Valley Police Department.  These include rear-ending a car that had stopped, backing into a light pole and hitting a rock while making a U-turn.

Hinckley believes West Valley PD was also negligent for not doing enough to inform UPD about Franklin’s crashes.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera and the Valley Emergency Communications Center declined to comment about the complaint.