A lawsuit has been filed against two former Benbrook police officers who are under criminal investigation for a hit-and-run crash in Fort Worth.
The lawsuit was filed by Jeff Panfil, one of the victims. His attorney, Seth Anderson said his client suffered “significant injuries” in the crash, and is looking for damages of at least $100,000.
“You have a hit-and-run accident involving two police officers who know better than to leave the scene,” Anderson said.
The lawsuit against Sgt. Chad Peabody and Detective Jason Montgomery claims both who were off-duty when they slammed into Panfil’s vehicle, then abandoned their own vehicle and ran from the crash site.
Anderson told News 8 he has not been able to get additional information on the investigation, but hopes the lawsuit will lead to more discovery. He alleged the officers left the scene of the crash because they were doing something wrong.
“They have a duty to protect and to serve — whether they are wearing the badge or not,” Anderson said. “They were more concerned about themselves. They left without knowing if anyone was killed or injured. They were more concerned about themselves.”
The crash happened August 24 at West Freeway and Ridgmar Boulevard in Fort Worth around 2:14 a.m. The police report obtained by News 8 indicates that a red Dodge ran a red light and slammed into the victim's car.
According to the report, four people were inside the car. Some were treated at the scene; one was taken to the hospital. In the report, the investigator noted that alcohol might have been a contributing factor.
Anderson claims in the lawsuit that Peabody and Montgomery ran from the crash "most likely because they were drunk," and that “the two contacted a third person, another officer to arrange a getaway car."
The officers have not been arrested, but Fort Worth police are still investigating the case. Detectives have been interviewing witnesses and looking for surveillance video of the crash.
News 8 has learned other evidence is also being analyzed.
We reached out to both officers and they referred us to their attorneys.
Montgomery's lawyer couldn't comment at this time. Peabody's attorney did respond to our request for comment.
“The Fort Worth police are actively and diligently investigating this case,” said Peabody’s attorney, Atticus Gill. “Once that investigation is concluded, we look forward to the release of the results. And we will let those results speak for themselves.”
Days after the crash, both officers resigned their positions with the Benbrook Police Department.