KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Jackson County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge for crashing into an innocent driver during a pursuit in May of 2018. Sean Stoff received a one year suspended jail sentence with probation and must complete 40 hours of community service, and finish a Missouri Highway Patrol driving course.
Stoff, 34, was charged with careless and imprudent driving for crashing into Chris Reed's vehicle as Stoff pursued another driver in the area of 350 Highway and Maple Street. Court records say Stoff had a red light but continued through the intersection. His dash cam paired with video from another deputy's car also confirmed he didn't have his lights and siren on either.
Reed suffered serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, and faces a long road to recovery.
"I hope that reckless drivers are held accountable no matter their job title, or who they are so no one else has to suffer like my family and I have suffered...I hope someday we can move on and move past this," Reed said in a written statement provided by the prosecutor's office.
"This officer accepted responsibility by pleading guilty." Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker added. "Officers of the law must obey the law, just like anyone else in our community."
The crash led to a change in Jackson County's pursuit policy.
"In March 2019, the commanders of the Sheriff’s Office met to review the vehicle pursuit policy. After their review, the commanders recommended modifications to the vehicle pursuit policy. The pursuit policy was modified to include guidelines that specify the criteria for Deputies to initiate or become involved in a vehicle pursuit. Terminology in the pursuit policy was clearly defined to ensure compliance. The commanders reviewed the modified vehicle pursuit policy with sworn personnel after making the necessary modifications. Furthermore, Commanders and Deputies discussed tactics and reviewed options that can be used to produce successful and safer outcomes during vehicle pursuits. After legal review from the Jackson County Counselors, a restrictive vehicle pursuit policy was established on April 13, 2019," a Facebook post from Sheriff Darryl Forte said.