Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Police Chase Ends in Fatal Auto Accident

According to Yakima Herald Republic, the city of Yakima is facing a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit after an innocent motorist died during a wild police chase that ended in a fatal auto accident. The family of Pascual Ayala contacted a personal injury lawyer, who filed papers in the Yakima County Superior Court, claiming that two people were killed when a truck being chased by police crashed into the victims’ car.

Ayala, 29, and his friend Marina Barajas, died June 20, 2010 when their car was broadsided by a stolen pickup truck fleeing police. Shaun Kollman, 30, escaped serious injury and now faces trial on murder charges. The lawsuit accuses the police department and the city of Yakima of negligence and deliberate indifference to human life. The family did not specify damages, although it is suspected it may be close to $10 million, similar to another wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city in 2006.

The personal injury lawsuit also names Kollman as a defendant, as well as four police officers who participated in the truck chase. The chase caused four collisions and the truck ran multiple traffic signals before the fatal crash. A similar situation occurred in 2006, in which Guillermo Aguilar and Edgar Travino-Mendoza died when the vehicle they were riding in was broadsided by a driver who was fleeing from the police in a stolen car.



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