Family receives $27M settlement from 2017 crash involving Sacramento County deputy

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- More than two years after an accident involving a family in an SUV and a Sacramento County deputy, the family said they reached a record $27 million settlement with Sacramento County.

The Awad family said it feels like one chapter has been closed but there is still a long road to recovery.

Dashcam video from the deputy’s patrol car shows the deputy responding to an emergency call while driving 80 mph on Fulton Avenue the night of July 14, 2017.

“The family was traveling in the opposite direction of the sheriff’s deputy and perceived the headlights of the deputy’s vehicle but could not appreciate the speed at which he was approaching,” lawyer Jason Sigel told FOX40.

At the time, the California Highway Patrol said the driver of the SUV attempted to turn left onto Pope Avenue when the patrol car collided with the SUV. The accident resulted in serious injuries.

“The dashcam video makes clear that the deputy’s overhead lights and siren were not activated when he began to respond to the call he was traveling to,” Sigel said.

Lawyer Robert Buccola said three of the children in the SUV – as young as 6 and as old as 12 – were injured.

But the 10-year-old girl was left with a massive head injury that left her hospitalized with an intense cognitive impairment.

“She, fortunately, survived. Her doctors did not believe that she suffered a survivable injury,” Buccola said. “She’s not mobile. She, right now, has to eat with the use of a feeding tube.”

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement:

This settlement reached between the county and the plaintiffs cannot undo that moment in time of the horrific accident that changed their lives forever. Although no amount of money can truly compensate them for what they’ve been through, I sincerely hope that in some way it helps them in their recovery and moving forward.

But while lawyers said they do not believe the deputy’s actions arose from gross negligence, they want this to be a teaching lesson.

“Very clearly here, the officer was responding toa very legitimate, important emergency situation,” Buccola said. “Officers, in general, have a tough job and it’s easy to come along after the fact and scrutinize.”

Lawyers said the family remains optimistic that the girl left permanently injured will continue her recovery and the settlement money will help in future treatments.

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