Crown Point, Indiana cop charged in DUI hit and run had previously caused a fatal accident on duty

From the Chicago Tribune:

A high-ranking police official charged Sunday with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident cost the county $750,000 in an earlier civil suit in which a Griffith woman was killed.

David Britton, 46, of Cedar Lake, who was commander of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Gang Intelligence Unit, also has been demoted and will face termination before the sheriff’s department merit board later this month. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the Feb. 19 hearing for his actions in Sunday’s hit-and-run that left two people injured, Sheriff John Buncich said Wednesday…

In October 2002, Britton was involved in a fatal car crash in Griffith near the intersection of Wirth Road and Broad Street while he was in police uniform and driving a county vehicle. Marga Gniffke, 75, of Griffith, died from injuries sustained in the crash. Alcohol was not believed to be involved.

A civil suit was filed against the county and Britton in 2003. John Dull, attorney for the Lake County Commissioners, said Britton was speeding at the time of the crash. He said the case went to trial, but a settlement was reached before the jury returned a decision.

The county paid $750,000 to Gniffke’s estate in 2006.

In the latest incident, Britton has been charged by Crown Point Police with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating with a breath content of at least .15 grams and failure of duty accident resulting in injuries…

Police showed Britton had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit, at the time of his arrest.

One thought on “Crown Point, Indiana cop charged in DUI hit and run had previously caused a fatal accident on duty

  1. While he was driving his assigned squad car, he was on his way to duty when the accident that killed Mrs. Gniffke occurred. He was not on duty at the time of the accident.

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