JEFFERSON COUNTY — Pevely officials have agreed to pay $347,500 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the parents of two passengers killed during a 25-mile high-speed police chase in 2014.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey approved a $200,000 settlement of claims by Toya Steed, who sued in 2017 on behalf of her son, Lavoy Savalas Steed. About one-third of the money will go to Steed’s lawyer Christopher B. Bent, filings say. Those filings were sealed at the request of both sides after the hearing Monday, despite the fact that Missouri’s open records law says such settlements are public records.
Lawyers for Pevely and the parents of Leon C. Haywood recently also agreed to a $147,500 settlement, a filing in Jefferson County Circuit Court says. Parents Anita Rodgers and Leon Haywood Sr. will each get $45,658 and their lawyers, James Wyrsch and Javad Khazaeli, will get $56,182.
Suits are still pending against the Missouri State Highway Patrol and two staffers.
A lawyer for the highway patrol did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday.
The chase started after a highway patrol trooper stopped a 2002 Ford Explorer on I-55 near the Bloomsdale exit on Interstate 55 for going more than 90 mph. Driver Jeromy L. Goode then sped away, triggering a pursuit reaching speeds of 125 mph that ended in a crash at the Imperial Main Street exit after Goode dodged at least three spike strips.
Goode, 18, of St. Louis; Haywood, 19, of St. Louis; and Steed, 21, of Florissant, were killed.
The Haywood suit says that the highway patrol continued the chase after headquarters announced, “We are done,” and Pevely police joined the chase without being asked.
The Steed suit says that Lavoy Steed was trying to get out of the car, and called his mother after the driver refused to let him out. She called 911 for help stopping the chase, the suit says.
Steed heard her son begging the driver to stop, and then say, “Momma he still won’t stop are they gonna stop chasing us?”
“The faster they chase us ... the faster this dude goes,” he said, according to the suit.
She was on the phone with him when the SUV crashed, the suit says.
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