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5 Injured, Including Bystanders, in a Police Chase in San Jose

Police Pursuit, San Jose, CA

Police Vehicle Strikes an SUV, Injuring Three Bystanders, During a High-Speed Pursuit

San Jose, CA -In the city of San Jose, a routine traffic pursuit escalated into an alarming incident involving a sheriff’s cruiser and an innocent bystander’s vehicle. This case not only highlights the unpredictable nature of law enforcement pursuits but also underscores the potential risks to public safety in urban settings.

The Incident

On April 28, 2024, a high-speed pursuit unfolded on the streets of East San Jose, California, marking a severe yet unintended impact on local bystanders. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies were chasing 24-year-old Thomas Thach, suspected of commandeering a stolen gold Lexus sedan. This intense chase, which commenced shortly after 12:30 PM, spiraled into chaos near the intersections of King Road and Commodore Drive.

In a critical turn of events, a sheriff’s cruiser collided with a Toyota SUV, which was not involved in the pursuit. The Toyota, containing three occupants, suffered the brunt of this encounter, leading to immediate medical concerns. The three individuals were swiftly taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and fortunately, were later discharged without serious injuries. The involved deputy sustained minor injuries but was soon back on duty.

The pursuit escalated when Thach, in a desperate bid to evade capture, rammed into a patrol car. This act, deemed an assault with a deadly weapon, prompted an intensified chase as Thach drove recklessly into oncoming traffic, further endangering public safety. The pursuit finally concluded when law enforcement deployed spike strips to halt Thach’s vehicle, leading to his arrest on multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon and evading a peace officer.

Legal Implications 

The accident in San Jose provides a stark example of the complexities and risks associated with police chases, particularly those that result in unintended injuries to bystanders. Legally, such incidents can lead to significant consequences for law enforcement agencies, including civil liability for injuries caused to civilians. These cases hinge on factors like negligence, the necessity of the pursuit, and adherence to law enforcement pursuit policies.

Statistically, the risk associated with police pursuits is significant. According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, pursuits are one of the more dangerous law enforcement activities, with a notable percentage resulting in collisions. For instance, approximately 68% of all police chases result in some form of accident, with bystanders and third-party drivers often at risk. Injuries to innocent bystanders can underscore the need for stringent pursuit policies that prioritize public safety over immediate suspect apprehension.

Legally, such incidents can lead to significant consequences for law enforcement agencies, including civil liability for injuries caused to civilians. These cases often examine whether the pursuit was necessary and conducted within the bounds of law enforcement policies.

Navigating the aftermath of a police pursuit incident requires not only resilience but also knowledgeable legal representation. If you or someone you know has been impacted by a police chase, the value of experienced legal counsel cannot be overstated. The legal complexities surrounding such incidents are considerable, and without expert guidance, securing just compensation can be an uphill battle.

Scranton Law Firm, with its deep-rooted experience and a proven track record, stands ready to assist. Our firm has been at the forefront of personal injury law for over 50 years, securing over $1 billion for our clients. We specialize in handling cases involving police chases and are committed to upholding the rights of those inadvertently caught in such traumatic events.

If you find yourself facing the consequences of a police pursuit, remember, you are not alone. Reach out to Scranton Law Firm today. Our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers will provide you with the empathy, respect, and robust representation you deserve. Let us help you navigate the legal landscape and work towards the compensation and closure you need to move forward.


  1. What immediate steps should I take if I am injured as a bystander during a police chase? If you are injured, prioritize seeking medical attention. Once safe, document the incident thoroughly and contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and potential claims.

  2. Can bystanders affected by police pursuits seek compensation for their injuries? Yes, bystanders injured during police pursuits may have the right to seek compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering, especially if negligence played a role in the incident.

  3. How do I prove negligence in a case involving a police pursuit? Proving negligence involves demonstrating that the law enforcement officers involved did not adhere to standard operating procedures or acted recklessly under the circumstances. An experienced attorney can help gather the necessary evidence and expert testimonies.

  4. What are the risks of police pursuits to the community? Police pursuits pose significant risks including potential injuries to bystanders, damage to property, and disruption to community safety. Studies suggest that high-speed chases often escalate the danger to all parties involved.

  5. Why is legal representation crucial in incidents involving police chases? Legal representation is crucial due to the complex nature of claims involving law enforcement. A skilled attorney can navigate the legal system, advocate on your behalf, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a police pursuit accident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a San Jose police pursuit accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.