Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Crowder enters protective order in suit involving fatal police pursuit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 16, 2017

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder filed a protective order in a suit against the City of Madison and a police officer involving a fatal collision while an alleged car thief ran from the police.

On March 9, Crowder filed the protective order, which applies to all confidential material produced or adduced in the course of discovery, including initial disclosures, responses to discovery requests, deposition testimony and exhibits.

Sheila Brawley, mother and next friend of Rhykeem Samuels, a minor, filed the lawsuit against the City of Madison and officer J.D. Harris on Nov. 11.

She claims Harris saw a 2011 Honda Odyssey minivan speeding on Oct. 14, 2015, and allegedly began to pursue the vehicle. She alleges the pursuit ended when Kyrus Sykes, the driver of the alleged stolen vehicle, crossed the median of state Route 203, resulting in a head-on collision with a third vehicle. 

There were three juvenile boys in the vehicle at the time of the crash. 

Passenger Marcus Gordon and driver Kyrus Sykes died as a result of the accident.

The minivan the boys were in was reported stolen in Fairview Heights.

Brawley alleges the defendants should have known their actions would result in severe injury. As a result, Samuels was allegedly seriously and permanently injured.

The defendants, however, argued that Samuels was actively involved in the theft of the vehicle. They also allege Samuels knew Sykes would drive in an unreasonably dangerous manner.

The City of Madison filed a third-party complaint against Semekia Ellis, as special administrator for Sykes, in November.

On April 26, Crowder scheduled a status conference for June 28 at 9 a.m.

The defendants are represented by Gerard Cook and Michael Victor of O’Halloran Kosoff Geitner and Cook LLC in Northbrook, Ill.

Samuels is represented by Bruce Mattea of The Mattea Law Firm in Collinsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1505

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Madison County Circuit Court