SUMTER COUNTY, SC – An amount of $300, 000 was ordered to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to pay to the man that was killed in a collision with a deputy on June 2011.
The judge had approved on Wednesday the settlement between the Estate of Philip Tommy Hawkins and the sheriff’s department. $300, 000 is the most allowable amount under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act. The estate will receive $193,933.79 after legal fees.
The case for Hawkins’ estate was handled by the Louthian Law Firm of Columbia.
On June 30, 67-year-old Hawkins was killed after Deputy George Mickens had lost control of his cruiser near Shaw Air Force Base. Mickens was travelling around 79 miles per hour and had run a red light when the collision happened.
Mickens had told the troopers from his hospital bed 12 days after the incident that the last thing he remembers is going to McDonald’s and he does not recall whether he passed out or the reason why he passed out.
Internal investigations done by South Carolina Highway Patrol conclude that a medical condition, likely a seizure, had cause Mickens to lose his ability to drive. Same conclusion was derived from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department internal investigation.
The results were handed over to the state solicitor who found out that there was not enough evidence of any wrong doings to charge Mickens.
However, Hawkins’ family countered against the assessments and filed a wrongful death suit against Sheriff Leon Lott which cites the driving history of Mickens.
Mickens history reveals that since 2002, he had crashed his car 6 times and four out of the six crashes were caused by Mickens. Looking back to 1993, Mickens had been stopped by deputies 12 times for offenses ranging from speeding to running a stop sign.
Linda said the pattern of Mickens traffic history should at least be considered.
Mickens is no longer employed with Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
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