Two adults and one child are dead after fatal collision with Phoenix fire truck at Bethany Home Road and 29th Avenue.
Ali Phillips, Arizona Republic
The family of a woman who was killed in a car crash involving a Phoenix fire truck is demanding $25 million from the city.
The family, represented by the law firms Watts Guerra LLP and Gowan Elizondo LLP, filed a notice of claim on July 3. Such claims are a common precursor to a lawsuit against a government body.
The claim stems from a fatal collision that killed Kenneth Collins, 20, Dariana Serrano, 19, and their 3-month old baby, also named Kenneth Collins, on April 7.
The family was driving east on Bethany Home Road around 9:15 a.m., before turning left onto 29th Avenue when they collided with Phoenix Fire Engine 18.
Collins was pronounced dead at the scene, while Serrano and the 3-month-old boy were taken to a local hospital where they too were pronounced deceased.
The notice of claim, which The Arizona Republic received from the city via a public records request, accuses the firefighters involved in the fatal crash of being negligent while citing the fire department’s operating procedure drive safely and prudent at all times.
“The city of Phoenix, Phoenix Fire Department, and its employee(s)/driver at the time of the subject incident breached that duty, and in doing so their negligence resulted in the deaths of three members of the Phoenix community,” the notice of claim says.
The claim also says the family hasn’t received a police report of the incident to determine whether the firefighters were responding to an emergency and had its lights and sirens on.
Sgt. Vince Lewis, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, told media shortly after the crash that the fire engine was responding to an emergency call regarding a structure fire and had its lights and sirens activated.
Although names, dates and other snippets of information are redacted from the notice of claim, portions of the document suggest Serrano’s mother is the claimant.
“The pain and anguish that (redacted) has endured thus far — and will continue to endure for the rest of her life — for the loss of her daughter is immeasurable,” the claim alleges. “She left her daughter that morning expecting to see her later that evening. She did not get to say goodbye to (redacted) or her grandson, (redacted). They were taken from her.”
Erin Rogiers, an attorney with Watts Guerra LLP who filed the notice of claim, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nick Valenzuela, a spokesman for the city of Phoenix, told The Republic that the city does not comment on pending litigation.
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