'Justin was the best of us,' fallen Las Vegas police detective dedicated career to criminal justice

Family of Las Vegas detective killed by fallen highway beam files wrongful death lawsuit

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The family of late Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Det. Justin Terry, who was killed after a beam fell on his car while driving, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against multiple defendants, including the contracting company and driver of the tractor-trailer that hit the beam.

Terry, 45, was killed while on duty on June 10, 2022, when a steel beam fell on U.S. 95 hitting his unmarked police vehicle.

LVMPD Detective Justin Terry was killed in a crash on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Credit: LVMPD)

According to the complaint filed by Terry’s wife and sons, the family claims that Western States Contracting Inc. and the driver of the tractor, Glen Joseph Lewis, owed a duty of care to operate the trailer reasonably and safely but failed to do so.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants breached their duty of care by negligently loading the trailer with a load that exceeded the height limit for the vehicle and by driving the oversized load onto the roadway.

According to the lawsuit, Lewis was driving the tractor-trailer in front of Terry. Loaded onto the trailer were a large tanker truck and a backhoe loader. The lawsuit said that the oversized trailer was driving at “freeway speeds” and was in excess of 15 feet. While Lewis was driving, the boom and arm of the backhoe loader struck a beam.

A Metro police detective, Justin Terry, was killed when a steel beam fell on his car on U.S. 95 southbound. (Credit: Ryan Wolf/Las Vegas Traffic Bulletin)

The beam, which weighed over 7,000 pounds, then fell onto Terry’s car, causing severe injuries from which he later died, the lawsuit said.

“Despite knowing the dangers of driving with an oversized load, the Defendants put lives at risk and killed a 20-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who dedicated his life to protect and serve this community,” lead attorney Brian J. Panish said. “What happened to Detective Terry was 100% preventable and it never should have happened. We are committed to holding these defendants accountable for their actions and we are honored to stand beside Stacey, Sean, and Jacob in our pursuit for justice.”

The family is seeking to recover damages for their grief and sorrow, the loss of Terry’s probable support, companionship, society, comfort, and consortium, damages for pain, suffering, disfigurement, and special and punitive damages against all defendants.

Det. Terry was with the Las Vegas Metro police department for almost 21 years and was assigned to the Sex Crimes Bureau, Sexual Assault & Abuse Section.

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