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City sued for $15 million plus

By Walter Geiger The mother of one of two men hit and killed by a BPD patrol car has filed suit against the City of Barnesville in Lamar superior court seeking in excess of $15 million in damages along with burial and funeral costs. Danita Taylor filed suit last month. She claims to be the mother and sole surviving parent of Justen Shanard Sullivan. Sullivan and 21-year-old Quenton Byrd were crossing Veterans Parkway at about 1 a.m. May 16, 2014 when they were struck and killed by the police unit which was driven by officer Terry Eugene Belvin. Sullivan was killed on his 25th birthday. He was the grandson of the late longtime BPD officer Alonzo Taylor. In her suit, Danita Taylor claims there was no pedestrian crossing in the area and that Belvin ‘failed to exercise due care’ and engaged in ‘excessive recklessness’ in striking the pair. She claims her son and Byrd could see no traffic and that Belvin was running ‘in excess of 90 mph’ without any emergency lighting activated at the time of impact. She is seeking ‘in excess of $10 million’ for the wrongful death of her son and a minimum of $5 million for ‘pre-impact and pre-death pain and suffering’. She also seeks a jury trial, ‘other special damages’, and medical and funeral costs estimated at $20,000. Taylor is represented by attorneys Kathryn L. McArthur and Laura K. Hinson of Macon and Charles D. Graham of Atlanta. Belvin is not named in Taylor’s suit. He was cleared by the December term Lamar County grand jury. He said at the time that the deaths haunted him. He also voluntarily resigned from the police force and gave up his POST certification which will prevent him from working in law enforcement in the future.

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