A $5 million lawsuit filed against Los Angeles for the deaths of two boys may be on the verge of an out of court settlement as early as this week.
My News L.A. reports that the case surrounds a 2017 incident in which a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s cruiser caused a chain reaction crash, killing two boys, aged 7 and 9, as they were walking home from school with their mother in Boyle Heights.
According to court documents, Deputy Carrie Robles-Placencia was being trained as a patrol officer and was accompanied by an 11-year-LACSD veteran when they received a call of a nearby shooting.
On November 16, 2017, the deputies were responding to the call when Deputy Robles-Placencia went through a red light at the intersection of Whittier Street and Indiana Boulevard in a 2015 Ford Explorer Patrol vehicle. The patrol SUV collided with a Honda Accord. In a chain reaction, the Honda struck another car that was stopped at the intersection.
After the initial crash, Deputy Robles-Placencia accelerated the patrol SUV from 14 to 22 miles per hour, swerving to avoid hitting a group of pedestrians and instead struck two other pedestrians, the mother and her two children, and a trash bin which struck yet another pedestrian.
Seven-year-old Jose Hernandez was declared dead at the scene while his nine-year-old brother Marco, died at the scene of the crash. The boys’ mother, Veronica Solis, suffered several broken bones including a broken pelvis. Reports from the location of the 2017 crash indicate that six other people were injured in the accident.
According to the investigator’s report, the accident was caused by Deputy Robles-Placencia going through the red light without siren and emergency lights engaged. The cause of the accident fell upon the deputy to alert pedestrians and other drivers to the presence of an emergency vehicle.
Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Deputy Robles-Placencia. According to the report, investigators believe that the deputy may have confused the gas pedal for the brakes on her patrol cruiser.
Veronica Solis filed suit for the wrongful death of her sons, claiming that Deputy Roble-Placencia had been improperly trained and had acted recklessly.
Legal Counsel for the defendants in the case is asking that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorize the $5 million settlement.