Father Sues County For Crash that Killed His Young Sons

January 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The father of two young boys who were fatally struck by an SUV driven by an on-duty rookie sheriff’s deputy in Boyle Heights is suing Los Angeles County, alleging the vehicle was traveling at high speed even though the deputy was not responding to an actual emergency.

Luis Hernandez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges negligence and wrongful death and seeks unspecified damages.

“The Sheriff’s Department has not received this lawsuit nor had the opportunity to review it, therefore we will refrain from commenting on pending litigation,” a sheriff’s spokeswoman said in response to the filing.

Jose Luis Hernandez, 7, and his 9-year-old brother, Marco Antonio Hernandez, were killed and their mother was critically hurt around 7:25 p.m. Nov. 16 in the at South Indiana Street and Whittier Boulevard.

Two deputies were responding to a call about a gunshot victim when the SUV collided with two other vehicles in the intersection and then veered onto the sidewalk where the family was walking, according to a Los Angeles Police Department investigation.

The deputy driving the SUV was training for patrol duties and her supervising officer was in the passenger seat, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said previously.

The suit alleges the deputy “was not in the process of responding to an emergency call, was not in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law and did not have (her) sirens and/or lights activated.”

The deputy “was violating all industry standards for the safe driving of emergency vehicles,” according to the suit, which also alleges she should not have been allowed to “drive on the street before the completion of her training,” was “paying too much attention to too little” and “was driving in a distracted manner.”

Big Rig Crashed in Boyle Heights Area, Freeway Connector Closed

July 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A big rig crashed off the side of a freeway transition road in the Boyle Heights area Monday, spilling some fuel and resulting in the closure of the connector road while crews worked to repair guard rails.

The crash was reported about 6 a.m. on the connector from the westbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway to the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway, the California Highway Patrol reported. One person was treated for an unspecified injury.

The big rig ended up on its side, wedged in an area below the roadway surface and adjacent to a freeway abutment structure. A hazardous-materials team was sent to clean up fuel that spilled from the truck’s tanks.

The closure was expected to continue until Monday late afternoon, the CHP reported.

Motorist Killed in Collision Identified

June 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities said today that a motorist killed in a collision with a a big rig on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Boyle Heights was a resident of Yucaipa.

The accident was reported at 4 a.m. Monday on the northbound Santa Ana Freeway just south of the eastbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway, said California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball.

Phillip Sandoval, 31, died at the scene, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

All lanes of the northbound 5 were blocked for about two hours for the crash investigation and clean-up.

Fiery Fatality Claims Life

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A motorist was killed Sunday in a fiery single-vehicle crash in Boyle Heights was identified Wednesday as Carlos Martinez Jr., 22, of Los Angeles.

The crash occurred at 3:30 a.m. in the area of Olympic Boulevard and Lorena Street, according to a police officer at the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division.

Martinez died at the scene, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.


Vehicle Crashes in Front of a Home, Two People Killed

February 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Two people, including a pregnant woman and a driver, were killed Sunday when the motorist was shot while waiting at a traffic light in Boyle Heights and then crashed into the front of a home, police said.

The possibly gang-related shooting and crash happened about 11am at the intersection of Pleasant Avenue and Eschandia Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The driver, a man, was stopped at the intersection when a suspect in a black, late-model, mid-sized SUV opened fire, police said.

The victim’s car then slammed into the front of a home at 1550 Pleasant Ave. on the corner with Eschandia, according to the LAPD.

The driver was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A pregnant woman who was a passenger was trapped in the wreckage and died before she could be freed, according to police.

Another passenger in the car, a man, was taken to a hospital but was not seriously injured, authorities said.

No one in the home was hurt.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build.

Anyone with information that could help identify the suspect was urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7. Anonymous tips can be provided through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

Judge Dismisses Cross-Complaint of Boyle Heights Crash

September 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A judge last week denied a motion by attorneys for the state to dismiss a cross-complaint filed by the woman who caused the deaths of two women during a CHP pursuit when she drove down a freeway off ramp, ran a red light and crashed her car into a crowd at a taco truck in Boyle Heights in 2012.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey said he will give lawyers for Elba Jimenez and Maria Elena Rodriguez, the owner of the car Jimenez was driving, another chance to shore up their case. Attorneys for the state maintain their client is immune from liability to Jimenez and Rodriguez.

“Let’s try and get this thing moving,” Mackey said.

The cross-complaint alleges Jimenez and Rodriguez should be compensated by the state and other parties they sued if they are found liable to relatives of 38-year-old Claudia Fernandez, one of the two deceased women.

The cross-complaint is related to one of two underlying suits. Rachel Fernandez, the daughter of Claudia Fernandez, filed suit on  behalf of herself and her three brothers – Jeremy, 15, and Donovan, 13, and Ryan, 11 – in June 2013. The complaint names the state as well as Jimenez, Rodriguez and the owners of Danny’s Taco Truck.

The agency previously stated that one of its officers began pursuing Jimenez in the belief she was intoxicated about 1:20 p.m. on June 16, 2012, on the eastbound Santa  Monica (10) Freeway near the Convention Center.

The officer followed the 2005 Toyota Camry – being driven at speeds up to 100 mph – onto the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway, where the officer tried to make a stop, the CHP stated. The driver refused to pull over and sped off the freeway at the Cesar Chavez Avenue offramp, according to the CHP.

“The driver exited the freeway at Cesar Chavez Avenue and blew the red light at the intersection,” CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said last year. “She drove into a parking lot, where a food vending truck was set up, and crashed  into the truck, striking three people outside the truck.”

Fernandez and Marlene Alatorre, 19, died of their injuries. Jimenez was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

“Throughout the entire chase, the public was in danger of death or serious injury from the ongoing chase, yet the pursuit continued,” the lawsuit states. “Thus, some automobile collision resulting in death or serious injury to a  member of the general public due to the reckless nature of the CHP pursuit was eminently foreseeable.”

According to the complaint, the CHP was “required to have a policy in effect that controlled the circumstances under which a vehicle pursuit by one of its  officers was authorized. The CHP breached this duty by failing to adopt a pursuit policy.”

The suit further alleges the taco truck owners were obligated to sell their food from a safe location where patrons waiting for their orders would not be hit by a vehicle. It was foreseeable that a car leaving the freeway at high speed could lose control and crash into customers like Fernandez, the suit states.

In Aug. 2013, Holivia Alatorre, Marlene Alatorre’s mother, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of herself and her granddaughter, 3-year-old Mia Alatorre Cuevas. The suit names the state, Jimenez and Danny’s Taco Truck. Also suing individually is Michelle Gonzalez, Marlene Alatorre’s sister.

In November 2013, Jimenez, now 40 and a former Upland resident, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of evading an officer causing injury and two counts of DUI causing injury. She was sentenced a month later to 35 years to life in prison.


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