Alaska Police Officer’s Distracted Driving Trial Begins

June 14, 2013

An Iraq veteran is suing the municipality of Anchorage for damages suffered when a police officer ran a red light and crashed into his pickup.

The Anchorage Daily News reported the trial in Melvin Rush’s lawsuit began Wednesday.

Rush testified that he was driving to Fort Richardson early June 15, 2010, when he saw Officer Michael Wisel bearing down on him in a patrol car.

The police car T-boned the pickup, a truck Rush had purchased a month earlier.

Rush’s attorney claims Officer Wisel was watching his in-car computer and did not see the stoplight. Rush is seeking $500,000 in compensatory damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages.

Assistant Municipal attorney Sam Severin says Rush is not entitled to punitive damages.

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