County legal response blames victim? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

County legal response blames victim?

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

July 22, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A shocking allegation in an answer to a lawsuit. Lawyers maintain Billy Klewitz had a hand in his own death.

Klewitz was the 21-year-old driver killed last year when a man being chased by a drug agent hit him head on.

Klewitz was driving on Old Leesburg last June when he was hit by Bobby Jones, a drug suspect being chased by Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Agent Gary Price.

Jones was also killed.

Klewitz's family is suing the city, county, and drug squad, and in a response to the suit, lawyers for the county say Billy Klewitz was partly responsible for his own death because he didn't exercise enough care for his own safety.

Klewitz family attorney Patrick Eidson of Barnes, Nesmith, & Eidson says the family is disappointed in the response.  

"They indicated they had no duty to Mr. Klewitz and I think that's inaccurate.  I think all police officers have a duty to protect the public, so there is a duty to Mr. Klewitzm," said Eidson.

The response further states that sole responsibility for the crash should be placed on fleeing drug suspect Bobby Jones. With the city and county's response the lawsuit will move into the discovery phase which could take up to six months.

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