Chicano Park victims and surviving family members submit claims

In case of car that crashed down from Coronado bridge

Sepolio's truck after the crash. A blood sample taken an hour after the accident revealed that Sepolio had a .08 blood-alcohol level.
  • Sepolio's truck after the crash. A blood sample taken an hour after the accident revealed that Sepolio had a .08 blood-alcohol level.

Victims and family members of those who died as a result of being hit by a drunk driver who careened off the Coronado Bridge into a gathering at Chicano Park have filed claims against the City of San Diego.

According to public documents obtained by the Reader, in early April eight claims were submitted to the city's Risk Management Department for damages suffered during the October 2016 collision.

On that day, active-duty service member Richard Anthony Sepolio, then 25 years old, lost control of his truck while sending a text message and drove over the bridge's guard rails, plunging 60 feet into a large gathering of the La Raza Ride motorcycle festival. A blood sample take an hour after the accident revealed that Sepolio had a .08 blood-alcohol level.

The collision killed Annemarie Contreras, Cruz Contreras, Francine Jimenez, and Andre Banks.

The claimants include two family members of Annemarie and Cruz Contreras as well as others who had been injured in the crash.

Among the injured to file claims are Ruben Carrillo, a resident of Santa Ana, and Victor Garcia.

Carillo says injuries he suffered from the accident have caused him to miss work and rack up medical expenses. He values his claim at $5 million.

As for Garcia, a specific dollar amount was not included in the claim but is estimated at being greater than $10,000.

Others to file claims are Flora Gonzalez, Olivia Magana, Milinda Oberly, and Annette Trujillo.

The claims were filed between April 3 through April 13 of this year. The city has three months to respond to the claims. If denied, the claimants typically decide to file lawsuits.

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Comments

The City will deny the claim and a lawsuit will be filed. The City will end up settling for millions. Another claim and lawsuit will be filed against CalTrans and the State. More settlements to come. Both the City and the State knew or should have known that the bridge railing was inadequate and that the park was poorly located.

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