City still hopes to prevent mayor from taking stand in deadly crosswalk lawsuit

Attorneys for the family of seven-month-old girl who died in 2015 accuse city of stonewalling

Photo taken the day of the accident, March 2, 2015.
  • Photo taken the day of the accident, March 2, 2015.

Attorneys for the City of San Diego hope to prevent mayor Kevin Faulconer from taking the witness stand in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by parents of a 7-month-old girl who was killed as her dad pushed her in a stroller while crossing a Point Loma crosswalk. The motion comes despite the fact that more evidence has come to light that then-councilmember Kevin Faulconer was aware of the dangers at the intersection.

Catalina and Canon streets -the young girl's stroller was dragged for 68 feet until coming to a stop.

Catalina and Canon streets -the young girl's stroller was dragged for 68 feet until coming to a stop.

Superior Court judge John Meyer will hear the motion during an April 7 court hearing.

Deputy City Attorney Catherine Richardson has urged the judge to block attempts to force Faulconer to the stand. Richardson says doing so would have no bearing on the case as Faulconer was never personally responsible for handling any citizen complaints nor was he aware of the dangers of the intersection located at Canon Street near the transition ramp from Catalina Boulevard.

As reported on by the Reader, John Aavang was pushing his daughter Juniper in her stroller just after daybreak on March 2, 2015 while his wife, Ginerva, trailed behind. Aavang and his daughter were using the crosswalk when a black SUV driven by David Hoban struck them, throwing John Aavang to the side of the street while dragging the young girl's stroller for 68 feet until coming to a stop. Juniper Aavang died a few hours later. Her father, John Aavang, suffered severe head trauma.

Two weeks after the accident the Reader submitted a public records request to the city asking for any complaints submitted to the city about the dangerous crosswalk. The city responded by turning over a 2010 complaint to then-councilmember Kevin Faulconer, also a resident of Point Loma, from Jon O'Connor. In his complaint O'Connor requested that additional safety improvements be made to address what he said was a “complete blind spot for families with kids trying to cross.”

Six months after the accident, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

During the two years since filing the lawsuit, numerous additional complaints have surfaced dating as far back as 2008. The complaints,

which attorneys for the family say were discovered through their investigation and not by the city, include two from former city employees — one from San Diego's former personnel director Richard Snapper and the other from then-deputy city attorney Paige Hazard who lived near the intersection. Both complaints were submitted to Faulconer's office.

But that's not all.

In recent weeks, according to court documents, additional evidence that Faulconer knew about the dangers of the crosswalk have come to light. In 2008, a resident sent Faulconer an email concerning the dangerous intersection. Then, in 2011, Faulconer helped draft a city memo which addressed safety issues at the crosswalk.

"Despite claiming in its motion that Mr. Faulconer did not have personal knowledge about this intersection, [the city] hid...records and

information...which clearly show his substantial personal involvement and knowledge," reads a document filed by Aavang's attorney, George


"[The city's] attempt to mislead the parties and the court tells all of us that Mr. Faulconer knows more than [the city] wanted us to think."

Kindley argues that Faulconer is the only one to speak to what he knew and when.

Richardson, however, argues otherwise.

"Plaintiffs seek to depose Mayor Faulconer purportedly because a citizen complaint came into his office when he was a councilmember. However, the complaint was forwarded by his office to the city's Traffic Engineering Department for handling. The Traffic Engineering Department investigated the complaint, took certain actions to address the issues raised by the complaint, and then responded to the citizen. Mayor Faulconer had no involvement in the handling of the complaint, nor am I aware of any evidence to suggest otherwise."

Judge Meyer will hear the motion to exclude Faulconer from the witness stand at 10:30 am in Department 61.

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"Mayor Faulconer had no involvement in the handling of the complaint, nor am I aware of any evidence to suggest otherwise."

Boy, that could be the motto of Kev-boy's mayoralty: I have no involvement in the holding of this office, nor is anyone aware of any evidence to suggest otherwise.

This is third or fourth story on this horrible intersection and the terrible death and injury reported by The Reader. Sadly, the City, for whatever reason, believes it holds no liability. Even when there is clear and unrefuted evidence of it, and its councilrepresentative, Kevin Faulconer, were well aware of the hazardous conditions. But this is no surprise, especially for Kevin (Sgt. Shultz) Faulconer who claims to "know nothing". That's been his method of operating in politics all along. His logic, you can be held accountable if you deny everything.

While minor alterations to the intersection have been made, (removal of a plant, slight realignment of lane markings and the installation of a completely useless signal light) the original design flaws still exist and cars ignore the signal light because it remains green 99.9% of the time.

Dorian… My name is Farhad J. Bastani. I am former employee of the City. On 10/27/2016 you published an article in Reader after interviewing me. The subject of the article was “Did an unwritten city policy result in death?”. In the above article in this link, I noticed that the Vehicle had traveled 68 Ft. before full stop in Canon Street. Even regardless of any other matters in Point Loma Case, The location of the Crosswalk does not have “Traffic Engineering Minimum Required Safety Factors” and is within the “Required Design Stopping Sight Distance”, SSD. In fact, the City should not have any defense in Point Loma Case. The City had to consider this matter that the location of Crosswalk was within the Stopping Sight Distance and does not comply with the required Traffic Engineering Safety Factor. The formula for calculating the Stopping Sight Distance, SSD, in Traffic Engineering is:

SSD= 1.47. V(mph). t + (V(mph)^2)/ (30. ((a/32.2)+G))

The transition ramp from Catalina Blvd. to Canon Street is also a “Simple Circular Horizontal Curve”. The above formula is the reference for all of the design standards tables for “Stopping Sight Distance” in many guidelines such as AASHTO. Any types of standard that may have been used by the City Traffic Engineering, should also comply with the above formula. The City should not have any defense and/or excuse for negligence in Point Loma Case. Office of The City Attorney should not cause "Delay" in Point Loma case anymore. NO ONE in the City can argue and/or oppose the above formula. Even NO JURY can oppose the above Formula. Thia is a FACT that the City was Negligence in Point Loma Case and had to: 1- Move the location of Crosswalk 2- Implement the Maximum Possible Traffic Signals and/or Safety Devices in that location. Even based on the calculations, the start point of SSD is on the curve of transition to Canon Street.

Dorian... The above formula is a "Universal Formula" to calculate the Required Design SSD. The "Metric Unit" of the above formula is being used in other countries too. The above formula is the source for all tables and guidelines such as AASHTO, etc... Any kind of guidelines that are being used in the City had to also comply with the above formula. In the above Formula, the minimum Required time, considering the Traffic Engineering Time Safety Factor in any kind of Road and situation is 2.5 Second, which is the total of 1.5 Second for Driver Perception/Reaction Time and 1 Second for Maneuver Time such as "Pushing the Brake Pedal" at Speed Limit of " V (mph)". In the above article there is an statement that "...dragging the young girl's stroller for 68 feet until coming to a stop...". In fact, the total reaction time and maneuver time of the driver of the SUV in Point Loma Case was fast and less than 2.5 Second after passing by the Bush and tree. But regardless of this matter and based on the calculations, the start point of SSD is on the curve of the transition to Canon Street. This is the reason that residents at Point Loma visually FELT that the Crosswalk was Unsafe at the Speed Limit of the area and had reported the Unsafe Crosswalk to the City. There is NO DOUBT that the City and the City Traffic Engineering is Guilty of of being negligence in Point Loma Case.

Dorian… based on the SSD Formula the “Required Design Stopping Sight Distance” at speed limit of 40 Mph. is : G=0 for Horizontal Circular Curve t= 2.5 Sec. a= 11.2 ft/sec.^2 then: SSD= 1.47 402.5 + (40^2)/ (30* (11.2/32.2))= 300.33 ft.

Which is exactly the same as the SSD listed in AASHTO charts and other guidelines. Even at speed limit of 30 Mph., the SSD is: SSD= 1.47 302.5 + ( 30^2)/ (30* (11.2/32.2))= 196.5 ft. In fact, if you see the Google Satellite Image of the Circular transition of Catalina Blvd. to Canon St., the Crosswalk is DANGEROUSLY located FAR WITHIN the required design Stopping Sight Distance, while the start point of SSD (ie. Observing the Crosswalk by drivers) even at best conditions, is located on the Transition Curve of Catalina Blvd. to Canon St. Even if the Crosswalk was not being located FAR WITHIN the Stopping Sight Distance and complied with the Safety Factors in the above formula and Standards, THE DRIVER OF THE SUV WOULD NOT COLLIDE WITH AAVANGE FAMILY, EVEN IF the BUSHES and TREE obstructed his vision on that Spot. In fact, regardless of any other matters in Point Loma Case , the location of the Crosswalk did not have any Traffic Engineering Design Safety Factors and the City had to “Remove the Crosswalk” and/or at Minimum Implement The Maximum Possible Visual Warning Signs” started from Catalina Blvd. City does not have any defense in Point Loma Case. Please note that, I left these comments on this Articles, without any coordination with the Attorney of Aavange Family .

Dorian… in your article it has been published that the Vehicle had traveled 68 Ft. before full stop in Canon Street. In fact, even if you use the “Google Map Scale” for rough Measurements on the Satellite Map, if the required SSD was being fulfilled for the location of the Crosswalk in Canon Street, DAVID HOBAN, the Driver of the SUV WOULD NEVER COLLIDE with AAVANGE FAMILY, even if the Bushes and/or any tree had OBSTRUCTED his view. In fact, David Hoban, had quick Perception/ Reaction Time. In your Article dated 03/01/2017, there is a following statement from one of the Residents of Point Loma, Richard Snapper: ..........“I mean, I’m an outdoor guy… I would not even walk across it that second time I visited there. I chose to go to the middle of the block…rather than going to the crosswalk.”........ In fact, theoretically, Richard Snapper is true based on the calculations of SSD. The Stopping Sight Distance is in the Middle of the Block.

Dorian... I have sent an email to the Deputy City Attorney for Point Loma Case, Catherine Richardson, to read my above comments in this article. I am a plaintiff in another case against the City and the name of the Deputy City Attorney in my case is Keith Phillips. Attached to this post is the picture of my email to Catherine Richardson and Keith Phillips on 03/31/2017

Dorian... please see my previous posts on this article. Currently, I am involved, as a plaintiff, in a case against the city. On 10/27/2016, you published an article from me in San Diego Reader about the unlawful conducts of the City against Public Record Act and Public Safety (the following Link). http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Prior to your interview with me in 2016, Office of the City Attorney , DCA Keith Phillips, had repeatedly threatened me not to interview with media and not to involve Mayor Kevin Faulconer in my case, although I had never have any intention to involve Mayor Kevin Faulconer in my case. Shockingly on 11/10/2016 , SDPD contacted me and conducted an unlawful investigation from me in the street. During the investigation on 11/10/2016, SDPD in a very smart and professional manner Threatened me. During the investigation on 11/10/2016, I found out that Mayor Faulconer was behind the conduct of "Threat" and "Obstruction of Justice" because of publishing an article in San Diego Reader from me on 10/27/2016 . The investigation on 11/10/2016, was Audio Recorded. During the unlawful conduct of the City against me on 11/10/2016, I clearly stated to SDPD that Mayor was behind the conduct. Please see the picture of my Email Communication with Deputy City Attorney, Keith Phillips and Catherine Richardson , defendant's attorney in point Loma Case on 03/30/2017.Catherine Richardson is in possession of the Audio Record of the incident on 11/10/2016 and she MUST act with good faith in all of the future Motion Hearings in Point Loma Case. Mayor Kevin Faulconer must be investigated. He does not act with Good Faith.

Dorian... one of the subjects of your article is "Attorneys for the family of seven-month-old girl who died in 2015 accuse city of stonewalling" .... In fact, the actual conduct of the city is far beyond just simple "Stonewalling"...It is Federal Crime of Obstruction of Justice. On 11/10/2016, City in a smart and professional manner, convoy a Threatening Message to me by SDPD that they would send me "UNDER GROUND" after an Article published in San Diego Reader on 10/27/2016 about conduct of the City against " Public Records Act" and "Public Safety". Then, I escaped from San Diego for my Safety on 12/05/2016 !!! Mayor Faulconer had threatened me !!!

As has been stated many times, no person is above the Law. Nixon sure found that to be true. Hopefully, the Mayor and Trump will, too.

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