Ex-Detroit cop who killed lawyer in crash was involved in 3 crashes

The former Detroit cop who killed a prominent lawyer in an undercarriage crash was involved in three other crashes in the years leading up to the accident.

Teira Funderburg’s driving record included a seven-page citation, a suspension and a crash that ultimately resulted in the death of attorney Cliff Woodards. The question now being raised is why nothing was done to stop her from driving.

Funderburg was sentenced to a year of probation after refusing to enter a plea to the fatal collision.

“Maybe if someone picked up page one or page two, we wouldn’t have to turn to page seven,” said attorney Arnold Reed.

Reed represents the family of Cliff Woodards in a $50 million wrongful-death lawsuit against Funderburg and the city of Detroit.

“Cliff is not coming back, but there are hopefully things we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Reid said. “There are a few things we can do to ensure that officers receive greater scrutiny before driving.”

After racking up multiple speeding tickets, Fenderberg had her driver’s license suspended again in 2010 and 2011.

She joined DPD in 2016 and was involved in a car accident in November 2018. A month later, Funderburg was involved in a second crash while on duty.

The DPD determined the accident was avoidable and Fenderberg was disciplined.

Cliff Woods

Fast forward to December 2020, and Fenderberg was driving a scout car that was hit by a drunk driver. She was not wrong in that car accident, but she will be wrong two months later.

While rushing to assist other officers in a non-emergency, non-life-threatening situation, Fenderberg ran a red light and crashed into Woodard’s car.

“Now we’re sitting here talking about what a great guy Cliff is, what a great lawyer Cliff Woods is,” Reid said. “We’re talking in the past tense, but it doesn’t have to be.”

Dispatchers and even Funderburg’s partner told her to stop before the crash as she ran to assist other officers.

Reed didn’t think she should have been driving in the first place.

“If you know someone is incapable or unfit to drive, you can’t give your car to someone else,” he said. “It’s ample evidence that this is clearly what, Randy, if someone took a closer look, it could have been prevented.”

More reports:

FOX 2 reached out to DPD for comment on Funderburg’s driving record and the crash that killed Cliff Woodards. It does not normally comment on pending litigation, but a spokesman said our investigation was being referred to their Office of Professional Standards for further review.

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