Family of Woman Killed During Encampment Clearing Files Wrongful Death Claim Against Caltrans

MODESTO -- The family of a homeless woman, who was killed last month when a Caltrans crew tried to clear a Modesto homeless encampment, is now filing a wrongful death claim.

The family’s claim is that Caltrans was negligent and reckless when a piece of heavy machinery hit and killed their daughter, identified as 33-year-old Shannon Bigley.

"Given the circumstances, they’re doing what they can. Today, I can tell you they’re pretty upset," said attorney Eric Khodadian.

Khodadian, who is representing Bigley's family, says despite nearly two months of investigation, neither the CHP nor Caltrans has given the family any information about how their daughter was killed.

He says the Bigleys' key questions have gone unanswered.

"What went wrong? Who will be held accountable? What changes will Caltrans make to prevent these types of accidents in the future?" Khodadian said.

FOX40 reached out to Caltrans again Tuesday night, nearly a month later, yet still has not received any answers. They issued the same exact statement sent to FOX40 at the time of Bigley's death.

In April, months before Bigley was killed, a Caltrans union representative named Steve Crouch filed a grievance, saying his workers do not have the right training or safety measures to be clearing out homeless camps.

Crouch told FOX40 over the phone he feared something might go wrong. Unfortunately, for the Bigley family, Crouch’s fear proved to be right.

"Caltrans has not picked up the phone to apologize to the family," Khodadian said. "They have not picked up the phone to express their condolences."

It is not known exactly how much the family is seeking in damages yet but the attorney FOX40 spoke with says whatever that number is it will be in the millions.

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