Hembree, deputy hit by motorist, files
By Jason Morton
June 19. 2005 3:15AM
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TUSCALOOSA | The
Tuscaloosa County deputy who suffered debilitating injuries from
being struck by a motorist in 2003 has filed a civil suit against
the woman who was driving the car.
Cliff Hembree, who now is
blind and also has suffered from injuries affecting his arm, sense
of smell and other normal functions, filed the civil suit in
Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court -- almost 18 months after the
He said it was his form of seeking
“It’s been difficult to deal with," Hembree said.
“No justice was served.
“I’m having to deal with it on my own
-- adapt and overcome."
Hembree was severely injured in the
early morning hours of Nov. 29, 2003, while assisting a Tuscaloosa
Police officer with a DUI traffic stop on Old Cottondale
While standing in front of his patrol car, Hembree was
struck by a 1993 Nissan Maxima traveling at what crash scene
investigators determined was between 26 and 45 mph.
impact threw Hembree’s body onto the hood of his patrol car and put
him in the intensive care unit at DCH Regional Medical Center for 32
consecutive days before sending him down a long road to
Doris Ann Parnell was the woman driving the car
that struck Hembree. She has been exonerated from any criminal
responsibility in the matter.
She could not be reached for
Parnell, who was known as Doris A. Dye at the time
of the collision, was not legally drunk, according to the crash
reconstruction report. Her blood-alcohol content at the time was
.04, which is half the legal limit of .08 in Alabama.
report concluded that Parnell, driving without insurance, did
violate state law by looking away from the road and driving into
A grand jury, however, declined to indict her based
on the evidence presented by prosecutors.
The suit filed June
8 does not ask for a specific amount of money, and it leaves open
the possibility of adding additional defendants as time
As of now, Parnell is the only person named in
this suit, although Hembree previously has filed civil suits against
the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Tuscaloosa Police
Jason Fleishman is the Tuscaloosa attorney
representing Hembree. He said the suit is a matter of holding
someone responsible for Hembree’s injuries.
“If you look at
the whole experience, and then you examine the person who
perpetrated this incident, you’ll see that absolutely nothing
happened to her," Fleishman said. “If someone is severely injured,
the government or society needs to determine who’s at fault and
Reach Jason Morton at
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