Civil lawsuit can proceed against suspended Missouri trooper

Published: Jul. 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM CDT
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A civil lawsuit can proceed against a suspended Missouri State Highway Patrol officer who was transporting a handcuffed Iowa suspect when he fell out of a boat and drowned.

In allowing the case to proceed against Anthony Piercy, a federal judge this week noted his patrol boat hit speeds of around 40 mph in 2014 while he transported Brandon Ellingson for a breath test. Ellingson tumbled into the Lake of the Ozarks wearing an improperly secured life vest. The vest slipped off, and Piercy was unable to save Ellingson.

In the ruling, the judge also dropped some claims against Piercy's supervisors. The claims were raised in lawsuit filed by Ellingson's suburban Des Moines family.

Charges of involuntary manslaughter also are pending against Piercy, who has said his training wasn't adequate.