On December 29, 2017, Judge Glenn R. Salter of the Orange County Superior Court dismissed a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of the families of three young girls who were tragically struck and killed in a crosswalk at the intersection of Old Grand Street and Fairhaven Avenue on Halloween evening, 2014. The three girls were trick or treating in the City of Santa Ana, when motorist Jaquinn Bell struck them at approximately 65-70 miles per hours in the middle of a crosswalk. Bell fled the scene and took the Santa Ana Police Department on a three day manhunt before he was ultimately apprehended. Bell was convicted and is now serving time in a California state prison.
The families of the three girls sued the City of Santa, alleging a dangerous condition of public property at the intersection of Old Grand Street and Fairhaven Avenue. Plaintiffs’ allegations, in their lawsuit filed by attorney John Montevideo, Esq., ranged from the “diagonal” nature of allegedly faded crosswalk markings to inadequate lighting in the area in front of Fairhaven Elementary School. In response to the City’s motion for summary judgment, Judge Salter ruled that plaintiffs failed to provide any evidence to support the allegations in the complaint that there are physical deficiencies in the area of the crosswalk. Furthermore, there was no evidence of any accident history at the location. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the City of Santa Ana. The case was handled by attorney Justin Reade Sarno and Steven J. Rothans.
For more information about this tragic and unfortunate incident, as well as the City of Santa Ana’s outreach efforts to the community in response to this tragedy, see the following links: