Attorneys Seek Lawsuit Against Officer, Unified Police In Death Of Homeless Woman

Nov 13, 2019, 9:06 PM | Updated: 9:10 pm

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — A complaint filed in Utah’s Third District Court claims Unified Police Department should have never allowed one of their officers to get behind the wheel of a patrol car because of her previous driving record.

That officer was accused of running over 20-year-old Cindreia Europe, who was lying in a parking lot.

On March 6, an employee at the Pizza Hut near 2300 East and 3300 South in Millcreek called 911, stating that someone was taking a nap in their parking lot. He was concerned that the person might get hit.

Attorney Eric Hinckley showed media the surveillance video from that night, which showed officer Megan Franklin’s patrol car entering the parking lot first.

Europe, who was homeless at the time, can be faintly seen on the ground, where she’s run over, dragged by the patrol, car and dropped roughly 45 feet later.

“She’s been called to protect and to serve. She’s responding to the welfare check of the individual who she runs over,” Hinckley said. “Tragically, officer Franklin entered the parking lot at an alarming rate of speed, given the circumstances, and failed to watch where she was going.”

Hinckley believed Franklin’s patrol car ran over Europe a second time, as she turned left, ultimately killing Europe. Hinckley said Franklin should have never been behind the wheel of that patrol car because of her lengthy driving record with West Valley Police Department.

“During her time at West Valley City, officer Franklin had at least seven reported instances of misconduct, while driving her patrol vehicle,” Hinckley said. “In fact, officer Franklin had resigned as a result of her poor driving history.”

The legal complaint detailed incidents where Franklin reportedly struck rocks, rear-ended a vehicle and struck a vehicle while making a U-turn. The complaint names West Valley City for not properly warning Unified Police of her record. It also alleged dispatchers at Valley Emergency Communications Center could have done a better job of telling Franklin and other officers that Europe was lying in the parking lot.

Hinckley is pursuing the lawsuit on behalf of Europe’s mother, who lives in Colorado.

“(Cindreia) was a writer,” Hinckley said. “She loved to write. We understand she had a lot of contact with people in the Millcreek community. She liked to spend a lot of time at the Millcreek library.”

Hinckley said Europe had parked her car in that Pizza Hut parking lot earlier in the day but returned to find it had been towed away. He said there’s no clear explanation for why she had passed out on the pavement. Hinckley said Europe showed no signs of being sick or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill had previously decided not to pursue charges against Franklin. A Unified Police spokeswoman told KSL that they had not seen the complaint filed in court and that Franklin no longer works for the department.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(John Wilson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

SB I-15 closed in Layton following police chase, shooting

State troopers have closed southbound Interstate 15 at Hill Field Road due to a police incident.
9 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

SportClips in Sugar House reopens after massive apartment fire

SportClips in Sugar House reopened for business Tuesday, 33 days after they were forced to close due to a massive fire that broke out at an under-construction apartment complex.
1 day ago
Charges against Linda Tracy Gillman were dismissed after the state was not ready to move forward wi...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Charges dropped for 75-year-old woman accused of hiring hit man

Linda Tracy Gillman is already in prison after being convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband and was scheduled to be on trial for attempting to hire another person, to eliminate evidence and a witness in that case.
1 day ago
Jed Boal

Plow drivers needed, but UDOT says the storm itself was the source of delay

Was it staffing issues or the storm itself at the source of traffic troubles Monday night and Tuesday morning across the Wasatch Front?
1 day ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Festival of Trees showcases 11-year-old who persevered against the odds

Patient Champion of the Festival of the Trees celebrates an 11-year-old girl who lost her leg in an accident six years ago and is now defying the odds.
1 day ago
Beaver Mountain ready...
Mike Anderson

Cache Valley resorts cashing in on early start dates

Ski resorts in Cache Valley planned for some of their earliest start dates in about a decade thanks to our recent storms.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Attorneys Seek Lawsuit Against Officer, Unified Police In Death Of Homeless Woman