Investigation Ongoing in Fatal Crash Involving Sheriff’s Vehicle
Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve the public, but they are human and sometimes make human errors. Tragedy struck Boyle Heights last November when a sheriff’s deputy was involved in an accident that took the lives of two young brothers.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department officials have confirmed that the deputy operating the vehicle was still in patrol training and had not turned on the siren though she was responding to a call.
Mother loses two sons in sheriff car crash
Just before 7:30 in the evening on Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7-year-old Jose Louis Hernandez and his 9-year-old brother Marcos Antonio Hernandez were walking along the sidewalk at Whittier Boulevard and Indiana Street with their mother. A sheriff’s patrol SUV responding to a gunshot call approached the intersection travelling less than 25 mph with its lights on but not its siren.
The sheriff vehicle, headed south on Indiana, hit a 1998 Honda Accord that had been headed east on Whittier. The Accord then hit a 2002 Honda Odyssey carrying seven passengers. At the same time that the Accord and Odyssey collided, the LASD SUV drove over a curb, struck the wall of a bank building, and then hit several pedestrians on the sidewalk including the young Hernandez boys and their mother, who was left critically injured.
LA deputy in training involved in crash
The LASD has not released the identity of the deputy who was driving the SUV involved in the accident. Officials did say that she had been on the job for two or three years but was currently undergoing patrol training and that her supervisor was in the passenger seat.
Accidents involving public safety vehicles have additional complications not found in many other types of crashes. California protects citizens by waiving governmental immunity for public agencies when a death or injury to person or property is caused by the negligent or wrongful act of an employee acting in the scope of employment. The employee, however, is protected from personal liability.
Securing compensation from a CA government agency
To recover monetary damages against a local government entity, a claimant must submit a claim in compliance with the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA). The CTCA contains details such as strict timelines and notice requirements. The timeline for filing a claim is only six months – this is much shorter than the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit against a private party, so there is no time to waste. If the claim is denied in whole or in part, the claimant may file a lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident and believe it was due to the carelessness of a California municipal employee, speak with Ellis Law’s Los Angeles car accident lawyers to be sure your rights are protected. Ellis Law has dedicated the past twenty years to helping injury victims recover against those at fault.
Call a personal injury lawyer at 310-641-3335 to schedule a free no-obligation case review.
Read More about the Boyle Heights Sheriff Car Accident:
- LA Times, Sheriff’s patrol vehicle involved in fatal crash didn’t have its siren on, official says, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sheriff-crash-boyle-heights-update-20180104-story.html
- California Legislative Information, California Vehicle Code 17000-17004.7, http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?division=9.&chapter=1.&lawCode=VEH&article=1.