Photo from gofundme.com/tm3v2tg
Rodolpho De La Torres (left) with wife and two children
The family of a man killed by an alleged drunken driver filed a wrongful death claim with the City of San Diego on October 23, the first step before seeking legal action.
Rodolpho De La Torre, 55, and Teresa Hernandez. 84, died in a head-on collision on May 2, 2015, when their car collided with a car driven by 21-year-old Shane MacDonald, who was traveling north in the southbound lanes.
De La Torre was driving his mother-in-law (Hernandez), his wife, and two children to the airport when MacDonald's car struck them. De La Torre's wife and children suffered serious injuries.
MacDonald, also injured in the crash, was later charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. According to testimony given at MacDonald's October 22 arraignment hearing, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, MacDonald told authorities that he had had three beers and a few shots of vodka at a party before getting in the car. After leaving the party, MacDonald drove to a Mexican restaurant in Mira Mesa. After getting his food, MacDonald drove north on I-15’s southbound carpool lanes. The lanes had recently been opened as part of an expansion.
MacDonald's trial is set for April 2016.
A day following the arraignment hearing, the surviving members of the De La Torre family filed wrongful death claims with the City of San Diego, according to a document obtained by the Reader in a public records request. Filing a claim is required in order to pursue legal action.
In all, ten claims were submitted on behalf of relatives of Rodolpho De La Torre and Teresa Hernandez. Each claim were directed at the city's Traffic and Engineering Department. All listed bodily injury and property damage as reasons for the claims.
The claims were verified on October 23. The city has 45 days to respond to the claim. An answer is expected in early December.