School closings & delays

Dash cam showing deadly collision with 11-year-old released

CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. -- Michigan State Police have released dash camera footage from the night an 11-year-old boy was hit and killed by a deputy’s cruiser.

The prosecutor declined to press charges, but the family of Norman Hood Jr. is now suing Calhoun County.

FOX 17 obtained the video from the Calhoun County deputy’s cruiser through the Freedom of Information Act. It is jarring and difficult to watch, but Hood's family requested FOX 17 show as much as possible so the public can see what happened to him that night.

A man, who said the victim was a friend, could be heard screaming, "Norman! Norman!"

Moments before this, the dash cam shows the deputy’s cruiser colliding with Hood who was on a minibike. The deputy was speeding down Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek and was on his way to a burglary call.

For about 50 seconds after the collision, the deputy sits in his cruiser. When he gets out he can be heard telling witnesses that paramedics are on their way.

"They're coming. They're coming," the deputy stated.

State police say the deputy was going 66 mph in a 30 mph zone and did not have his sirens or emergency lights on but did have headlights.

On another cruiser's dash cam, the video shows loved ones embrace as they watch first responders around Hood's body. Jackson County prosecutor Jarard Jarzynka decided not to file charges because his office felt it couldn't prove criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jarzynka said hood "veered" into the deputy's lane of travel and that the deputy can be seen trying to avoid hitting him.

Hood's family has filed a $25 million lawsuit against Calhoun County and the deputy. They say the accident wasn't the child's fault.

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24 comments

  • Ben Dover

    The only accident I see is the parents buying their 11 year old a mini bike and letting him ride it in the street. sad ending for all.

    • Dimitry

      Cop driving recklessly, driving 66mph in a 30mph zone, how come you commenters didn’t mention that? The family should get every penny, cop should lose his job and go to jail.

      • Tim

        Kid made a pretty big mistake. Parents made a pretty big mistake buying that bike and letting him ride at night. Cop made a mistake not having his lights on. I’d call it even all the way around. Kid loses his life, parents lose their kid (and frivolous lawsuit, they should be charged with neglect) and cop should probably lose his job if he was indeed twice the speed limit.

      • Michael

        It wasn’t “recklessly”. In Michigan speed alone can’t establish reckless driving.

        He was going to a call so there was an identifiable reason for him to speed. Police are allowed to speed without lights and siren if they can articulate a reason for NOT having them on. I wasn’t there so I can’t speak intelligently to whether or not the deputy was able to justify it.

        The boy’s actions on the other hand can establish reckless driving. An unauthorized motor vehicle, driven by an unlicensed driver, without headlights on, failing to yield the right of way by swerving in front of a vehicle, without signaling, causing a death. I’d say that’s definitely enough for reckless driving – on behalf of the kid.

        That’s going to be the issue with the lawsuit. I’m guessing they will just settle and pay out but if they were to fight it it would be a hard one to win given how much fault rides with the child.

        • Ethan

          I disagree, if that cop did 100 mph it definitely matters. Once a cop gets to be a certain amount of speed over the speed limit they have to at least put their lights on

      • Patricia Alford

        That cop head no business driving that fast when a child’s up there riding his motorbike.he this or that little boy riding that bike and he could have stopped.he didn’t even try to stop he is a lier he took that little boy life he was only 11 years old how can you sleep at night

  • Ej

    The parents should be charged for allowing this young child to play in the streets at night and what this officer will see for the rest of his life.

    • Lisa

      Amen!! No parent was there during the entire video!! Only the deputy and one other person checked on the child. No helmet, riding at night, on a 4 lane rd. Not like he was on backwoods road. This poor child loses his life because of negligent parents.

  • rg

    No good reason for FOX17 to post the video. Except FOX17 does not like police and they want to help the Hood family with their lawsuit.

  • misery68

    It is sad that the child was killed but it was the childs fault
    That he hit. Why was an 11 year old riding a motorized bike on a main Road and At Night and without a helmet?
    And without any tail light or head lights?
    He never even looked behind himself to see how close by or far away that the traffic was before he crossed the street and into the path of the police cruiser.
    I think the Parents Lawsuit should be dismissed against the Officer and The Police Dept because their child’s death was in his own hands
    I can only imagine how badly distraught this officer is now.

  • Mike

    Parent Negligence I say. Why was the child riding a dirt bike on a main road at the edge of dark.?? Truly a Sad Day for All Involved. 😕🙏🏻❤️

  • Tammy

    Extremely sad accident, butthe blame belongs on the child and his parents. I grew up on mini bikes and my father NEVER EVER let me ride on any street. Especially after dark. WHY WAS AN 11 YEAR OLD CHILD OUTSIDE ALONE ON A MINI BIKE AFTER DARK? AND WHY WAS HE ALLOWED TO RIDE ON A 4 LANE ROAD? THAT IN ITSELF IS ILLEGAL.

  • Jennifer Wheaton

    Totally the fault of the child not looking for traffic and riding in front of the officer. Doesn’t matter about anything else. Kid should have looked before turning across traffic. Where the hell are his parents?! Where is his safety gear? Why is he riding at night? WHY didn’t he look before going into traffic? I feel for the police officer… he will never get that image out of his mind. Gaaaah! Why didn’t Norman look before crossing?!?!?!

  • Hank Gray

    Negligent parents the officer a 25 year veteran of the force did quit Norman’s parents should be in jail who in their right mind would let their 11 year old ride a minibike at dark no helmet or lights the officer was in shock I’m sure he will be for the rest of his life money won’t replace Norman so the parents motive should be questioned

  • Honestly

    The savage with a badge is a child killer. Speeding out of control and no emergency lights or siren. I hope KARMA catches that obese slob soon.

    • Ethan

      I’m in no way sticking up for that cop but, when an officer is responding to a report like burglary they aren’t supposed to turn their sirens on because then the person who committed or is in the act of committing a crime will hear them and run away from the scene but can still have their lights on the officer is a grown man and was trained he is in all wrong not the 11 year old child who doesn’t know the laws of traffic for all you people saying it’s the kids fault are you people dumb he’s only an 11 year old child who doesn’t know the laws of traffic and the man who hit him is a trained officer with a license to drive and operate a city vehicle he is in the most part of wrong out of anyone

      • Deb

        Here’s the point a child is dead and he has already paid the ultimate consequence, he is gone. Two wrong don’t make a right….the kid was out late in the dark riding, the cop was speeding to pursue a burglary. The difference is one out weights the other when it comes to negligence. The cop was negligent due to the law allowing them to speed when they need to do it with caution. Innocent people are out, it could of been collision with a car a person crossing the street. He should have had his lights on, they have sirens for a reason, so that people can move out the way pull over when we are driving. Lives are being lost because it’s more important to get the bad guy, the theif than to spare someonevelse their life. When in pursuit cops should always have their sierins on period. This kid is not dead because he was out riding late, he is dead because the cop did not use precaution. If an adult was out riding late on the same type of bike what will the dispute be ? You all would say that adult should not have been in the streets late. Every excuse than to acknowledge the obvious. It could have happened in the daytime and still y’all will find an excuse. We know it wasn’t intentional but still does not and should not exonnorates the cop for being negligent. They need to change the methods of how to pursue and keep everyone safe. Catching someone stealing should not cost a life…..

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