On Friday, January 24th, a jury rendered a decision in civil court requiring a Malibu woman to pay $18 million in damages for her role in a fatal crash which killed a mother and severely injured her daughter.
KTLA in Los Angeles reported that the jury found that Nicole Herschel, 39, acted in malice when she struck Yijing Chen and her mother at a 101 Freeway onramp.
During testimony, Yijing Chen told the Court that after hitting her and her mother with her Chevy Silverado pickup truck, Herschel got out of the vehicle, dragged Chen’s unconscious mother to a nearby curb. She then reversed her pickup truck and parked on a nearby road, waiting for law enforcement to arrive.
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While Herschel stayed at the scene of the crash, she told California Highway Patrol officers who responded to the scene that she discovered the injured women when she was on her way to the supermarket. The CHP officer at the scene said he found Herschel’s answers to questioning to be evasive and recommended criminal charges be filed against Herschel.
At her trial in 2017, Hershel pleaded no contest to the charge of vehicular manslaughter. She was sentenced to one year in jail.
According to Chen’s attorney, Jonathan Ritter, his client continues to suffer after the 2016 incident. The jury trial held in a Van Nuys Civil court was brief, and Ritter feels that the multi-million-dollar verdict awarded to his client will, at last, give her some sense of closure.