KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville police officer who was behind the wheel during a deadly crash back in August has now resigned from the police department amid a $3 million civil lawsuit filed against him and the City of Knoxville.

Officer Cody Klingmann hit another car with his police cruiser at a high rate of speed while he was responding to a burglary on Aug. 13, 2021. Mauricio Luna, 27, was killed in the crash.

Mauricio Luna with his dog, which was also killed in the crash. (Photo via T. Scott Jones, Luna family attorney.)

The Knoxville Police Department announced Wednesday that Klingmann resigned amid an ongoing Internal Affairs Unit investigation. He wrote in his resignation letter that he is “leaving to pursue other opportunities that have become available.” 

Attorney T. Scott Jones is representing the Luna Family in a civil wrongful death lawsuit that was filed back in March.

He said, “Mr. Luna was traveling to Florida to visit with his girlfriend. Unfortunately, he also had his dog in the vehicle, a dog that he was almost inseparable from, and both Mr. Luna and this canine lost their lives as a result of what we consider to be the negligence and unwarranted speedy operation of the vehicle by the KPD Officer Klingmann.”

Jones said Luna’s family is now looking for answers,

“At first, it was disbelief that this had happened to their loved one. Then that, if you will, evolved into great sorrow and grief.”

The lawsuit, filed by Jones on behalf of the Luna family, claims Klingmann was driving up to 90 miles an hour down Kingston Pike without using his emergency lights when he hit Luna’s car, which killed him.

The lawsuit also claims that the City of Knoxville was negligent in entrusting the vehicle to Klingmann, saying both the former officer and the city are responsible for Luna’s death.

Attorney Jones stated on behalf of the Luna family, “they are not a family that is looking for malice or revenge, they are a family that is concerned that these officers need to be held accountable when they do such things that clearly endanger the public.”

Jones said he hopes to have this case concluded by the end of the year,

“There is never going to be a significant amount of money that will compensate them or any other family for the loss of a loved one.”

The initial report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Luna was wearing a seat belt and Klingmann was not at the time of the crash. According to KPD, Klingmann suffered minor injuries.

We have reached out to the city of Knoxville for comment and have not heard back at this time. We will be sure to continue following this case.