Settlement reached in fatal high-speed chase suit

Jacob Hendricks

The family of a LaPrairie woman killed in a high-speed chase reached a $250,000 settlement and dismissed its lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle.

Gina Heinecke and Bob Baker sued Jacob Hendricks of Mount Sterling after their daughter Brianna Baker, 19, was killed in the Jan. 22 crash. Hendricks was the driver who crashed his vehicle in Beardstown in pursuit with police.

Baker was one of five passengers in his vehicle.

Hendricks had a liability Progressive Insurance Company policy with a $250,000 limit.

The March 29 settlement with Hendricks' insurance company doesn't end with Heinecke and Baker's legal action related to the crash.

The family is still still seeking more than $50,000 in damages, including funeral expenses in their action against Brown County and sheriff's deputy John Zimmerman in the lawsuit filed Feb. 6.

A passenger in Hendricks' car also filed a separate lawsuit similar to that of the Baker estate.

Mackenzie Wright, of Clayton, was one of Hendricks' passengers.

The county, Zimmerman, Sheriff Karl Groesch and Hendricks are listed as defendants in the second lawsuit.

The Wright suit says that the high-speed chase was unnecessary and that the Brown County Sheriff's Office lacked the proper procedures and policies regulating when to engage in and terminate chases.

Hendricks faces several charges, including eluding a police officer, driving under the influence, reckless driving and several petty traffic charges. The new lawsuit notes that he was both under the influence and drugs and alcohol at the time of the chase.

Investigators said Hendricks sped away from authorities and drove through four counties.

At times he reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, investigators said. The chase went through Brown, Pike and Morgan counties before Hendricks crashed his pickup into a utility pole.