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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On May 14, 2001, Troopers Loftin and Evans observed a purple Ford Probe traveling 74 mph in a 55 mph zone. The driver accelerated when Loftin, who was driving the patrol car, activated his emergency lights to stop the vehicle. The troopers pursued the vehicle at speeds up to 100 mph. They traveled over rural farm-to-market roads, through Eagle’s Bluff golf course, and into Shadybrook, a rural residential community. While in the residential area and traveling 50 or 60 mph, the patrol car struck a pickup driven by Misty Morales. Her 5-year-old daughter, Donna, was killed as a result of the accident. Morales, invoking the Texas Tort Claims Act, sued alleging that the troopers negligently caused the death of her daughter as well as her own physical injuries, mental anguish, loss of earnings and earning capacity, physical impairment, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. Donna’s father, Arnulfo Morales, filed a plea in intervention seeking damages he suffered due to mental anguish and the destruction of the parent-child relationship. Appellants filed a motion for summary judgment claiming entitlement to judgment as a matter of law under the doctrine of immunity. The trial court denied the motion, and appellants filed this interlocutory appeal. HOLDING:Affirmed. Morales targets Loftin’s statements that there was not a need to apprehend the driver of the Probe and that he did not feel it would cause an immediate danger if he did not apprehend the driver, claiming these statements defeat appellants’ assertion that there was a need to apprehend the driver of the Probe. Loftin made statements that appear to be contrary to his position. He then attempted to explain his meaning, indicating that he was referring to his decision to continue the pursuit, not the need to apprehend. It cannot be said that his admissions are clear and unequivocal. They may well be a slip of the tongue. As quasi-admissions, these statements are merely some evidence and not conclusive. The evidence indicates that while the officers had reason to stop the Probe, the circumstances did not indicate an urgent need for police intervention as required by Wadewitz v. Montgomery, 951 S.W.2d 464 (Tex. 1997). The evidence provides no indication that the officers considered any alternatives to pursuit. Accordingly, the evidence does not reflect facts to show the officers assessed the possibility that there were any alternatives to pursuit as required to show good faith. Police pursuits require a reassessment of whether to continue the pursuit in response to changing circumstances during the pursuit. This chase lasted for 27 minutes over country roads, through a golf course and throughout a residential area. The evidence does not indicate that the officers reassessed the need to continue the pursuit when they reached the entry to Shadybrook. With the exception of stating that they slowed down in Shadybrook, the officers said little about road conditions or the impact of rough, narrow roads with poor visibility. Further, the officers’ lack of familiarity with the streets is a factor to be considered. “We recognize that in applying the good faith test, we are not to penalize an officer for his inability to perceive or evaluate a risk due to circumstances beyond his control and that officers are not necessarily forbidden from pursuing suspects for traffic violations or in residential areas.” An officer’s inability to thoroughly analyze each need or risk factor should not alone prevent him from establishing good faith. Nevertheless, the court concludes that neither Loftin nor Evans adequately addressed the degree, likelihood and obviousness of the risks created by the 27-minute high-speed chase. Appellants’ evidence did not establish as a matter of law that a reasonably prudent officer, under the same or similar circumstances, could have believed that the need to immediately apprehend the speeding suspect outweighed a clear risk of harm to the public in continuing the pursuit in the residential area. OPINION:Griffith, J.; Worthen, CJ, Griffith, J., and Ramey, Retired CJ.

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