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Officer George Brentar, a 22-year veteran police officer, was driving his 2007 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor--a specialty car manufactured by Ford for law enforcement use--when he veered off the road. After leaving the roadway, Officer Brentar's vehicle crashed into a highway exit sign pole and caught fire. According to the lawsuit, Ford was negligent in failing to equip the vehicle with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system and for locating the fuel tank in the rear crush zone of the vehicle. The lawsuit claims that the inclusion of these two safety features could have prevented Officer Brentar's death.
This is not the first time the Ford-manufactured Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, also commonly referred to as the CVPI, has been at the center of a law enforcement fatality. According to Brad Larkin, the attorney representing Mrs. Brentar, there have been over 50 other fiery crashes involving the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and panther platform vehicles that have resulted in severe burns and/or death, including 4 in Ohio since 2006. Mr. Larkin's firm also represents Officer Ross Linert, an Austintown, Ohio police officer, who survived a fiery crash in November 11, 2007, and suffered burns to over 40% of his body.