THE INDEPENDENT NEWS
COURTHOUSE – The city reached a settlement in December with the family of a woman who died after a collision near Lynnhaven Mall involving an emergency medical services brigade chief who was driving his city vehicle and talking on his cell phone.
Virginia Beach agreed to pay $375,000 in a settlement with the family of the late Doris V. Baxter, 88.
The settlement order was signed on Thursday, Dec. 1, by Circuit Court Judge Glenn R. Croshaw. The family had sought $5 million from the city and EMS Brigade Chief Jeffrey L. Brennaman in the civil suit filed in Circuit Court in June.
In August, Brennaman pleaded guilty to an infraction, improper driving, related to the same incident. He initially had faced a misdemeanor reckless driving charge in that case.
Brennaman was talking on his cell phone when the crash happened on March 1, according to court records and a city police officer’s interview with Brennaman that was described in a search warrant affidavit filed with the Circuit Court within days of the collision.
Baxter was a passenger in a car driven by Danielle M. Brooks, her grandchild.
According to the civil suit, their car was traveling on Avenger Drive, crossing the intersection with Lynnhaven Drive to enter North Mall Drive. Brennaman, traveling on Lynnhaven Parkway, disregarded the red light and collided with their vehicle, according to the lawsuit.
Baxter, retired as a supervisor at the Navy Exchange at Naval Air Station Oceana, was pronounced dead at a hospital after the crash. Brooks was injured.
Division Chief Bruce Nedelka, a spokesperson for the emergency medical services department, wrote in an email on Friday, Jan. 13, that the department would not release the results of internal reviews or actions taken because they are personnel matters.
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