OAKLAND COUNTY (WNEM) — Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall died in the line of duty just over three years ago.
Christopher Berak was convicted of his murder in 2019.
“I just want to say to the family, I’m sorry for what I did,” Berak said in court.
Berak was being pursued by deputies from Lapeer and Genesee counties.
Deputy Overall deployed stop sticks at M-15 & Seymour Lake Road. Berak intentionally crashed into Overall who died later in a hospital.
Friday, Overall’s wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Oakland, Lapeer and Genesee counties” also naming four Lapeer county deputies and Christopher Berak.
The suit claims Berak was suicidal and in mental distress and alleges Genesee and Lapeer county deputies were negligent in using their sirens and lights.
It also claims Berak was going the speed limit and the order to use stop sticks was dangerous.
It further claims Oakland County’s training on stop sticks was insufficient.
And alleges they stopped using stop sticks after Overall’s death because they aren’t safe.
“I will not say they are not safe. That is not accurate,” said Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe. “We did sometime after that stop the use of stop sticks, that’s correct but I will not say they are unsafe. As long as someone followed the proper protocols and training, we’re confident they were safe.”
McCabe says Deputy Overall was a wonderful person.
“We loved the guy, he was a great deputy, he was well loved in the community,” he said. “Can’t say enough great things about Eric.”
He says while he feels for Eric’s loved ones, this lawsuit is uncalled for.
“It’s a very tragic situation, we’re a little disappointed this lawsuit was filed but that’s fine,” McCabe sid. “We’re very confident from our end the lawsuit will be dismissed in regards to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. We have one of the best training regimens in the state of Michigan.”
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