$2.5 million settlement reached in case where Oildale woman died in crash involving Kern deputy

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The family of a woman killed in a crash caused by a speeding Kern County sheriff’s deputy who ran a red light has settled its lawsuit against the county for $2.5 million.

That amount will go toward the two adult children of Nancy Joyce Garrett, according to a spokesman with the family’s attorneys at Chain Cohn Stiles.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2016 against the county in U.S. District Court in Fresno said the actions of Deputy Nicholas Clerico were “negligent and reckless” on the night of the crash in Oildale.

The Sept. 24, 2014, collision happened when Clerico ran a red light while traveling 85 mph on North Chester Avenue where it crosses West China Grade Loop, according to court documents. He struck the driver side of Garrett’s vehicle, which was traveling east on West China Grade Loop at 43 mph.

Clerico had his lights and siren activated at the time of the crash, but the CHP found the speed he was traveling minimized their effectiveness. He had been on his way to assist another deputy who had called for assistance in connection with a fight at the Long Branch Saloon.

A California Highway Patrol investigation found Clerico at fault in the crash because he entered a “solid red light” while speeding.

The suit was settled in early March, documents say.

Clerico in 2017 pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 240 hours of community service. He was no longer with the sheriff’s office by the time he accepted the plea agreement.

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