A settlement between the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Estate of a man killed in a collision with a Deputy in June 2011 was approved by a judge on Wednesday.
Phillip Hawkins, 67, was killed when Deputy George Mickens, traveling at approximately 79 miles per hour, lost control of his cruiser when he ran a red light and collided with Hawkin’s car. Both the investigations of the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Richland Sheriff’s Department concluded that a medical condition, likely a seizure caused Mickens to lose the ability to drive. The State Solicitor further concluded that the evidence was insufficient to find that the accident was the result of any wrongdoing.
Hawkins’ family, however, disagreed with those conclusions and filed a wrongful death suit, citing Mickens’ driving record. Mickens’ prior record reveals six crashes in the last ten years, four of which were caused by Mickens. Since 1993 Mickens has been stopped 12 times for offenses ranging from running a stop sign to speeding.
The Estate of Phillip Hawkins will receive $193,933.79 after legal fees. Mickens is no longer employed with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. The settlement protects the Department from further suits.