Posted March 17, 2018 05:12:18 A California man accused of killing his wife in a fiery crash in the city of Ashlyn, California, on Saturday is now suing the city, his former employers, the Ashlyn Police Department, the city’s Fire Department, and the Ashyn County Sheriff’s Department.
The alleged victim’s brother, Richard, told ABC News that his brother is now seeking damages of up to $150,000 from the city and $300,000 for the city for his death.
Richard said his brother died in a “freak accident” when he was allegedly speeding at a high rate of speed.
Richard, who works as a landscaper, said that he went to Ashlyn City Hall to speak with his brother’s former employer, the company that owns the Ashlin’s Hardware store.
After he got there, he was told by an employee that his son had been involved in an accident, Richard said.
Richard also said that after his brother was killed, the business’ former employee went to the police department to report that his boss had called the police to investigate the accident.
Richard says he was “shocked” when the employee was not arrested.
He said the company’s former employee then went to police to report the accident, but was told that his supervisor was already in the office.
Richard’s brother told ABC that he is not sure if his brother would be in the fire department.
Richard told ABC he plans to sue for the “disparagement of his deceased brother,” but added that the family has not spoken with his lawyers.
“My brother was an honest and hard-working man who was willing to do anything for his family,” Richard said in a statement.
“My brother would never intentionally hurt anyone or make any type of criminal statement.”
Richard’s family and friends were also shocked by the crash.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” friend Kasey Johnson told ABC.
“It’s like watching a child die in front of you.”
Richard was driving the Jeep Cherokee at a 40 mph rate when it suddenly stalled and crashed into the AshLyn City Center.
He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Richard had worked at the store since April 2016.
The City of Ashlynn’s Chief of Police, Jeff Pang, said the accident occurred when a driver in the Jeep was not wearing a seat belt and that an on-duty officer had been unable to pull over to help because the driver had not turned on his hazard lights.
“There were a number of incidents in the past few years where the department had to put in place a program to put the brakes on a vehicle that had a person who was not compliant with the laws of the state of California,” Pang said.
“The City is aware of a number fatalities related to distracted driving, but this was not one of those.”
The department’s deputy chief of police, Joe Withers, said officers were also called to the scene after a man in the store was “driving at a very high rate” of speed and the vehicle slammed into the wall of the store.
The driver of the Jeep, a 29-year-old man who had no previous traffic violations, was arrested for reckless driving, Pang added.
He has been charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, failure to wear a seatbelt, and two counts of felony vehicular assault, according to the Ashlynn Police Department.
He is being held in the Ashville Jail on $100,000 bail.
The city has not released the name of the officer involved.