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Drunk-driving case spills onto city

Three beers, vodka shots, and then I-15

Rodolpho De La Torres (left) with wife and two children
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.

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Rodolpho De La Torres (left) with wife and two children
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.

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Comments
5

If he killed them on I-15, Why is the SD City T & E Dept. involved and not CalTrans?

Nov. 23, 2015

I'm sure CalTrans will also be named. It happened within city limits and I assume attorneys are making sure the family files claims with all public agencies.-dH

Nov. 23, 2015

That is right and I am sure that the attorney is looking for a settlement. In a trial the plaintiff would have to prove that the design and build of the carpool lanes were so defective that it caused the driver to go the wrong way. Long shot for sure.

Nov. 24, 2015

I'm wondering the same as Maryanne Beckham. How could the city in any way be seen at fault for bad design of the new express/carpool lanes on I-15? Or does that have anything to do with it? The plaintiffs may be alleging something different in regard to an offramp looking like an onramp. But the details of what they allege aren't part of this blog post.

Nov. 24, 2015

A shameless money grab.

Nov. 24, 2015

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