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Federal Way faces lawsuit over 2010 fatal collision
The estate of Douglas Simmons III, a Fife man killed last year during a police pursuit on Highway 99, has filed a wrongful death case and is suing the city of Federal Way, the state Department of Corrections and the woman who killed Simmons.
Simmons was killed on July 26, 2010, after Virginia Ramsey collided with his vehicle while driving intoxicated. The suit alleges that Federal Way is partially at fault because at the time, a Federal Way police officer was in pursuit of Ramsey. The lawsuit alleges that the Federal Way officer in question should have known police were in pursuit of a reckless and dangerous driver who was likely to endanger the public, and should have ended the pursuit before something happened.
According to the police report of the incident, the Federal Way officer spotted Ramsey’s car in a parking lot. As the officer drove into the lot, Ramsey’s car passed by and ran a stop sign as she drove onto South 356th Street. The officer followed the car as it proceeded south on Pacific Highway South. The report notes that Ramsey was drifting across lanes of traffic before she ran a red light at Porter Way in Milton and struck Simmons’ car, killing him instantly. The accident left Simmons’ passenger in critical condition, and also left Ramsey in critical condition.
The lawsuit alleges that the state Department of Corrections failed in its duty because Ramsey should have been in custody the day of the accident. Ramsey, who had a history of convictions for drug possession, assault, theft and driving with a suspended license, had been in violation of her conditions of supervision the day of the accident. The lawsuit also alleges that the DOC failed to properly monitor her status and have Ramsey put in jail for her violations.
Ramsey, 37, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, vehicular assault and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle earlier this year. She was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.
Both public agencies declined to comment, citing policies on commenting about pending litigation.