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Wrongful death suit filed against city of Wichita for young girl’s death

Posted on February 16th, 2013

The city of Wichita is facing a wrongful death suit after a young girl’s death last February. The family of Suhani Bhakta has filed a lawsuit against the city as well as the officer involved, Atlee Vogt.

Kansas Highway Patrol’s report shows that Officer Vogt was driving at least 10 to 20 miles over the speed limit when he hit Bhakta. Bhakta later died of her injuries.

Officer Vogt was responding to a burglary after dark and was determined to be operating within department policy by not using emergency lights or sound. The speed limit where the accident occurred is 30 mph, but Vogt was going between 39 and 51 mph. The report also states that Vogt slowed down before impact. It is not clear whether this was for the approaching intersection or because he saw the girl. Bhakta was crossing the street mid-block instead of using the crosswalk 200 feet away.

The attorney representing the Bhakta family stated that “The police department and its officers either need to abide by the law and drive by the parameters of the posted speed limits, or they need to operate with their lights and sirens.”

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