BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Attorneys representing a woman seriously injured in a crash with a Bakersfield police cruiser have filed a claim against the city alleging negligence on the part of officers.
The claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — was filed by attorneys at Chain Cohn Clark on behalf of Ana Marie Hernandez, who suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries requiring surgery in the crash early Jan. 19 at the intersection of South Vineland and Muller roads. It seeks an amount in excess of $25,000.
The crash killed Mario Lares, 31, the driver of the Honda Accord in which Hernandez was a passenger. Daniel Rodriguez, the attorney representing Lares’ family, said he had not filed a claim as of Friday.
Bakersfield police officers Travione Cobbins and Ricardo Robles received moderate-to-major injuries in the collision that occurred when their Ford Taurus Police Interceptor sped through a stop sign as they traveled south on South Vineland Road, according to reports and California Highway Patrol investigators. Lares did not have a stop sign as he traveled west on Muller Road.
“This claim arises out of a tragic and preventable accident that caused life-altering injuries to a young woman in her early 30s . . . and the death of another innocent victim,” the claim says.
It alleges the officers violated department policies by failing to stop and check for cross traffic and failing to activate the vehicle’s lights and siren. It also says the department didn’t adequately train or conduct a proper background check on the officers, and should have known they were “unfit and incompetent,” and posed a danger.