A grieving mother is suing the city of Riverside after a head-on collision took the life of her 8-year-old son and critically injured three more of her children.
Riverside police said the driver was speeding down Arlington Avenue when he drifted into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with the Carbajal family.
Erika Contreras, who is representing the Carbajal family, argues that it’s the city’s fault for failing to implement traffic calming measures, like stop lights at the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Stover Avenue.
“The city is the one that should be held responsible because they knew about it and they did nothing to prevent it,” said Contreras. “This roadway has been well documented to be dangerous, as early as 2009 the residents were complaining about the speed on that road, the crashes on that roadway. The lack of signs and traffic controls on that roadway.”
Ana Carbajal says she doesn’t wish it upon anyone what she’s been through in the past months.
“Nothing will bring me peace, my son is gone, no one will bring him back,” said Carbajal.
Her three other children are also still dealing with not only tremendous heartache but physical pain, as well.
The oldest daughter Kially, 25, who was driving at the time, had surgeries for a broken foot and arm. Carbajal’s oldest son, 16, suffered brain swelling and had to have spine fusion surgery. Kiara, 10, had severe brain and spinal injuries as well as two broken legs.
The city had already planned to put stoplights at the intersection to slow drivers down before the Carbajal family crash in May. They wouldn’t be installed until five months later due to a supply issue, according to a city spokesperson.
Contreras said the lights should have been installed in 2015 when the city originally planned to. The family’s attorney believes the crash would have been avoided if that were the case, which is why the family is suing.
“So it’s a combination of making sure the Carbajal family receives the necessary care for the rest of their lives, but it is also to make sure the city of Riverside implements all of the safety precautions that they said they were going to implement and then failed to do so,” said Contreras
The city of Riverside was contacted for a statement but a spokesperson said they do not comment on pending litigation.