Father sues police over Hercules crash that claimed half his family

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

HERCULES, Calif. – A man who lost the love of his life and one of their identical twin boys during a deadly police chase in the East Bay has filed a lawsuit against two law enforcement agencies.

“It was a day that everything that we worked for was taken from us,” said Jeffrey Humble of Sacramento.

In March 2023, Humble’s 6-year-old son Jamari Humble and the boy’s mother, Ryniqueka Dowell, died after their car was hit by a stolen Mazda SUV as the driver fled from Hercules police.

Jamari’s twin, Jamani Humble, was hurt in the crash but survived.

“He wants to go see him, but he really doesn’t understand heaven,” Jeffrey Humble said.

Humble filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week, alleging that Hercules police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, which started the chase, acted recklessly.

“I’ve been angry, frustrated, upset, I’ve been all of it. But I’m a kind of positive person, so I just try to stay on the positive side, because that’s better for my mental health,” he said.

Video showed the stolen car speeding near 4th Street and Parker Avenue in Rodeo and slamming into the family’s Nissan as they made a turn. A Hercules police officer was following the stolen car not far behind.

The suspect, Ralph White III, got out of the wrecked car and ran, but was caught at a nearby liquor store, authorities said.

Dowell died at the scene. Jamari died days later at a hospital.

White is now awaiting trial on double murder charges.

Shortly after the crash, Hercules police said officers had chased the suspect for less than half a mile and didn’t have time to decide whether to abandon the pursuit.

However, Humble’s attorneys said the tragedy could have been avoided.

“In our mind, the risks of initiating and continuing that chase far outweighed the benefits, and we now know the loss – the loss is unimaginable,” said attorney Matthew Haley.

Another attorney, Fulvio Cajina, agreed, saying, “For either a stolen vehicle, or stolen license plate, it doesn’t make sense to engage in a high-speed pursuit through a heavily populated metropolitan area.”

Humble hopes his lawsuit leads to changes.

“The way things are now is not the correct way. and we don’t get to the correct way unless people like me take this fight,” he said.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and www.facebook.com/henrykleefan.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.