Pittsfield Twp. police sued for $30M after 2 killed in crash where 'super drunk' driver was let go

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 18:55:59-04

The attorney and husband of an innocent victim say the actions by Pittsfield Township Police defy logic because the fatal crash was preventable.  

They’re suing for $30 million dollars. Dashcam video shows a police sergeant and officer on the scene on Dec. 30, 2017 when Desten Houge drove off the road and crashed. It was 4:15 in the afternoon.

The recording has video and audio. Police did not complete sobriety tests. They didn't ask the driver if he’s been drinking. When the driver fell down, police helped him up. 

Houge's car was damaged, but it was towed back up to the road and that's when he was allowed to drive off with parts of the car were flying off. Houge was reportedly going fast, crossing the center line and hit another car head on. Houge was killed. Inside that second car was a wife and mother of two, 55-year-old Lake Jacobson. She died four days later.  

Lake's husband Mark talked about the case for the first time, saying he’s still struggling with the “preventable” loss. He also says the police chief told him they did nothing wrong. 

Houge’s blood alcohol level was .24 after his death, more than three times the legal limit and “super drunk.” He also had THC in his system consistent with marijuana use.

Attorney Stephen Goethel says he asked police to preserve the car immediately after the crash for his investigation, but the car was junked. He’s also suing the towing company Sakstrup. 

The police chief did not return calls seeking comment or a statement on the lawsuit.