Town of Sunset not responsible after driver in stolen city vehicle crashes into private property

St. Landry Parish

ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) A St. Landry Parish businessman is looking for answers after a stolen vehicle crashed into his property.

Now, his main concern is who pays for the damages. 

On August 3, John Kasey Thomas allegedly stole a Sunset Public Works vehicle and led Sunset Police on a chase.

Opelousas Police and St. Landry Parish deputies were called in to assist as Thomas “drove at a high rate of speed through a stop sign and failed to use turn signals.

According to the OPD report, Thomas lost control in a curve and went through a ditch before crashing into a railing that bordered the parking lot of a car dealership.

The business owner, who chose to remain nameless, tells us during the crash parts of the truck flew off and damaged his building.

The business owner was under the impression that because a Sunset Public Works vehicle was involved and Sunset Police initiated the chase, the town would cover damages to his property but our investigation revealed Sunset is not liable because the suspect was not authorized to operate town vehicles.

So where does that leave small business owners who are put in this situation? According to sources in law enforcement, the business owner may have to file a civil suit against the suspect in the chase to collect money for repairs.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com

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