Mother of woman run over, killed by UPD first-responder files complaint against officer, department, others

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

MILLCREEK, Utah, Nov. 13, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The mother of a woman who was run over and killed while lying in the parking lot of a Millcreek strip mall is seeking a jury trial against those she believes are responsible for the March 5 death of her daughter, Cindreia Simone Europe.

LaToya Mack, Europe’s mother, has filed a complaint against defendants including:

  • Unified Police Department officer Megan Franklin, who drove the patrol car over the victim, but who Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced in early August he would not prosecute
  • The Unified Police Department
  • The unknown dispatcher who sent police to the strip mall, but allegedly did not give information that would make the situation clear
  • The Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC), which employed that dispatcher
  • West Valley City

UPD officer Franklin was asked to search for a “man down,” according to earlier reports, but dispatchers allegedly did not tell Franklin that 25-year-old Europe might be prone.

According to information released after the incident, Europe was believed to be homeless and living in her vehicle, which mall officials had towed. Europe reportedly laid down to sleep in the parking lot. When Franklin responded, it was dark, and Europe was wearing dark clothing. Franklin ran over and killed Europe.

Gill said reasons for not prosecuting Franklin included the fact that she was not informed Europe was prone on the pavement.

In court papers filed Wednesday, Mack and her attorneys alleged that Franklin drove at an unreasonable speed and failed to keep a proper lookout while conducting the welfare check on the reported person, and that the dispatcher was given information that Europe was on the pavement, wearing dark clothing, but failed to pass the details along.

The lawsuit also says that after running over Europe, Franklin, “apparently unaware that she had run over Cindreia, failed to slow or stop her patrol vehicle, resulting in her patrol vehicle dragging Cindreia for approximately 45 feet.

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“Defendant Franklin turned her vehicle to the left as she turned the corner of the Zion’s Bank, which upon information and belief, caused Defendant Franklin’s vehicle to run over Cindreia for a second time. After Defendant Franklin made the left turn, Cindreia came out from under Defendant Franklin’s patrol vehicle.

“Cindreia thrashed around in pain for minutes fighting for her life before eventually succumbing to her injuries.”

The lawsuit also notes that Franklin was formerly employed by the West Valley City Police Department, “where she was at-fault for numerous car accidents and damage to her patrol vehicle.”

The court document says the incidents include the following:

“Officer Franklin damaged her vehicle on April 10, 2010 by running into a large rock; ran into a vehicle after performing a U-turn on July 26, 2010; was reported speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on March 4, 2012; hit a construction barrel with her patrol vehicle on August 27, 2013; backed her patrol vehicle into a light pole on November 8, 2014; hit a concrete curb on December 22, 2014; rear ended another vehicle due to “taking her eyes off the road” and injured herself for not wearing a seat belt on February 24, 2015; and damaged her patrol vehicle due to running over large rocks May 6, 2017.”

The incidents resulted in Franklin receiving “numerous letters of reprimand and no less than 70 hours of suspension,” the statement says. “As a result of her poor driving history, Defendant Franklin resigned from the West Valley Police Department.”

The WVCPD “failed to disclose Defendant Franklin’s dangerously poor driving record to Unified Police Department,” the statement says.

The lawsuit asks for general damages for pain and suffering, for past medical expenses, for the loss of future earning potential of Europe, for attorney’s fees and costs, and for “such other relief as may be deemed fair and equitable under the circumstances.”

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