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Family of Florida man struck, killed by North Myrtle Beach police vehicle files suit

North Myrtle Beach City Hall (copy)

North Myrtle Beach City Hall. File/Richard Caines/Staff

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — The family of a Florida man killed last year while walking across U.S. 17 in the North Myrtle Beach area has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, the police department and one of its officers, claiming they are jointly responsible for his injuries and death.

Attorneys for the estate of Nicholas Shroyer filed a nine-page civil suit on Sept. 22 against the city of North Myrtle Beach, Department of Public Safety and Christopher Michael Fitzwater for an October 2021 incident when 32-year-old Shroyer was hit by a police car while walking eastbound across U.S. 17 near 29th Avenue South in Atlantic Beach.

The city of North Myrtle Beach typically does not comment on pending litigation. Messages sent requesting a statement was not immediately returned.

A media release by the S.C. Highway Patrol at the time of the incident said Shroyer was crossing the highway “illegally,” but the suit now alleges that Fitzwater was “traveling too fast for conditions, speeding, failing to keep a proper lookout, and otherwise driving recklessly,” when he reportedly “violently” struck the man, causing “great bodily injury and death.”

“Fitzwater had a duty to operate the vehicle in which he was traveling in a safe and prudent manner and to avoid injuring or killing pedestrians,” the suit said.

The city of North Myrtle Beach and the police department, according to the lawsuit, had a “duty to hire and retain only well-trained and well-qualified individuals to drive its vehicles, and to adequately train, monitor, and supervise said individuals.”

Shroyer’s estate requests a jury trial and an unspecified monetary amount for “conscious pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress and medical expenses.”

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Follow Richard Caines on Twitter at @rickcaines