A drawn-out lawsuit over a high-speed 2011 crash in which a Payette County sheriff’s deputy hit and killed a New Plymouth man has now settled.
The Idaho Counties Risk Management Program paid $150,000 on behalf of Payette County to end the lawsuit brought by Nampa resident Jackie Raymond, according to public records.
Under state law, only the settlement amount is public; any other details of the settlement were not available.
“We have settled the case with Payette County to the mutual satisfaction of both parties,” said Nathan Olsen, Raymond’s attorney.
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For nearly five years, Raymond has waged a one-woman legal battle against two law enforcement agencies over the death of her father, Barry Johnson.
When the trial finally got under way in April, the judge declared a mistrial the first day.
Several days before the trial began, Raymond’s attorney accused Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff of witness tampering. Huff denied the allegations.
The trial was originally rescheduled for Oct 15. According to court records, the case was settled and dismissed on July 11.
The crash happened along a remote stretch of U.S. 30 near New Plymouth, late in the afternoon of Oct. 18, 2011.
Payette County Deputy Scott Sloan was driving east in his patrol car at speeds of 100 mph or more, with his lights and sirens on, while responding to a 911 call. The speed limit was 55 mph on the two-lane rural highway.
Johnson’s 1983 Jeep was also eastbound, in front of Sloan, traveling about 24 mph.
As Sloan tried to pass him, Johnson, who was on his way home, began to turn left into his driveway. Sloan slammed on the brakes. His 2004 Ford Crown Victoria had slowed to 88 mph by the time it struck the driver’s side of the Jeep.
Gem County Prosecutor Richard Linville determined that Johnson was not to blame for the fatal crash — the deputy was. Linville charged Sloan with felony vehicular manslaughter.
But less than two months before the trial, in March 2013, Linville dropped the vehicular manslaughter charge. He said conflicting Idaho State Police crash-investigation reports,and the untrustworthy conduct of the state trooper who led the investigation undermined his ability to prosecute the case.
Three ISP investigators later said they felt pressured by command staff to change their investigation report to state that Johnson’s blood alcohol caused or contributed to the accident, a conclusion they thought could not be proved.
When Raymond learned that Sloan would not face criminal charges, she sued Payette County and ISP. Raymond’s lawsuit alleged wrongful death and “tortious interference” by Payette County. She also argued that the ISP issues complicated the criminal case and her civil suit, but Nye dismissed those claims last year.
“ISP was dismissed by the district judge because he decided that Idaho does not recognize a civil claim for what we alleged they did,” Olsen said. He said he and Raymond are now working on an appeal.