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Family of crash victim sues driver, city

Lawsuit also names as defendant a separate motorist, alleging he might have been speeding with the other car before the collision on Laguna Canyon Road.

February 13, 2014|By Bryce Alderton

"Apparently, prior to be being changed, northbound Laguna Canyon Road was one lane of travel for approximately 2 1/2 miles prior to the intersection with El Toro Road, with the right travel lane being right-turn only," the lawsuit says. "The intersection changed to a two-lane straight, one lane right-turn only, where vehicles traveling northbound have a passing lane and merge within an approximately 630-foot distance."

Haselhoff alleges the government, presumably the state, "breached their applicable duties of care" by removing a warning sign prior to the intersection advising vehicles not to pass, lanes merging in a very short distance after a traffic light, failing to put in a center median, failing to place a center guardrail and lack of a shoulder."

Untrimmed foliage blocking the lane-merger sign, poor sign placement and speed limits too high for conditions are also alleged.

The government agencies failed to make remedial road improvements, despite notice of prior accidents, according to the suit.

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Haselhoff is also critical of the Laguna Beach and Irvine police investigations, alleging a delay in receiving traffic reports.

"It is believed [police], employed by defendants [cities of Laguna Beach and Irvine], may have ignored the testimony of eyewitnesses and/or improperly discounted them to protect defendants and/or changed the scene post accident," the lawsuit alleges.

Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig said the city doesn't comment on pending litigation.

"We'll look into allegations and defend the city appropriately," he said.

Haselhoff is seeking a jury trial and is asking for unspecified monetary damages for medical and funeral bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of earnings and support, legal fees and costs, and property damage.

Casique is survived by his wife, son and three daughters.

"[Family members] are entitled to compensatory damages from defendants and each of them," according to the lawsuit.

Attorney Allan Davis, who is representing Gonzalez's family, filed a separate civil suit and is awaiting approval from Orange County Superior Court.

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