Attorney: Deputy wasn’t chasing speeder before deadly crash

FENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — The attorney for the family of a woman who was killed in a crash with an Allegan County Sheriff’s Department cruiser is skeptical of claims the deputy was trying to catch up to a speeder. 

Instead, based on a newly released report from Michigan State Police, attorney Robert Lantzy believes the deputy was actually rushing to pick up a pizza. 

An undated photo of Jose and Ofelia Nunez. (Courtesy Nunez family)
An undated photo of Jose and Ofelia Nunez. (Courtesy Nunez family)

“Absolutely outrageous,” said Lantzy, who’s preparing to file suit against the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, former deputy Thomas Goggins, and Lee Township, which owns the cruiser involved in the crash. 

Goggins, who has since resigned from the sheriff’s office, was charged with two misdemeanor moving violations for the June 12 crash that killed Ofelia Nunez, 74, and seriously injured her husband Jose Nunez.

Goggins and the field training officer who was riding with him have said they were trying to catch a speeding minivan. But the state police report on the fatal crash shows an MSP detective sergeant questioned Goggins about a pizza order the deputies were scheduled to pick up within minutes of the crash.

Deputy Thomas Goggins is sworn in in May 2022. (Allegan County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Deputy Thomas Goggins is sworn in in May 2022. (Allegan County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

“Thomas advised they were running traffic enforcement until their pizza order was going to be ready,” wrote MSP Detective Sgt. Kyle Gorham in his report. “I asked Thomas if, at the time of the accident, they were heading into Fennville to pick up the pizza. Thomas replied, ‘no,’ they were attempting to make a traffic stop on a speeder.”

But Lantzy, an attorney with Buckfire & Buckfire P.C., said he doesn’t buy Goggins’ denial. 

“I don’t believe they were planning to pull over a speeding motorist

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