Cheektowaga officer struck by stolen vehicle during 2023 pursuit sues Depew Police Department

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Cheektowaga police officer who was critically injured when he was hit by a stolen vehicle during a pursuit last year has sued the Depew Police Department, claiming that the department violated policies during the chase.

Troy Blackchief, a 17-year veteran of the Cheektowaga Police Department, was hit by the vehicle during the chase on the morning of Feb. 6, 2023, while he was attempting to deploy spike strips on Union Road at Route 33.

The suit, which was filed in Erie County State Supreme Court earlier this month, alleges that officers with the Depew PD were “negligent, careless, reckless, willful, wanton and grossly negligent in the ownership and operation of the aforementioned police vehicles” by driving the police vehicles at “an excessive rate of speed” and by “failing to keep said police vehicles under control at all times.”

It also alleges that the department’s officers involved failed “to perceive, recognize, mitigate and eliminate the unacceptably high risk and likelihood of harm and danger while engaged in the high speed pursuit.”

The Village of Depew and a police officer named as “John Doe” are named in the suit as well.

The pursuit began in the area of Walden Avenue and Dick Road before getting to Union Road from Genesee Street on that morning. Police said that Blackchief did not have a chance to deploy the spike strips, which are designed to pop a vehicle’s tires, before he was hit.

Blackchief’s recovery lasted nearly a year and took him to facilities in both Chicago as well as Fort Worth, Texas after he suffered a skull fracture and a brain injury. He received a new 3D-printed skull bone in April 2023, but needed an emergency craniectomy after he suffered an infection while recovering from that. He had four cranial surgeries, the last of which took place in October, before he came home in December.

Blackchief is seeking monetary sums.

News 4 has reached out to both Blackchief’s attorney as well as the Village of Depew for comment and has not yet heard back.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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