Family of crash victim seeks $25M from Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Family of crash victim seeks $25M from Chandler

November 23rd, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Family of crash victim seeks $25M from Chandler
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By Ken Sain
Managing Editor

The family of a 26-year-old father of three has filed claim for $25 million against the City of Chandler and others in the wake of his death.

It is among a handful of claims filed against the city in October.

Brandon Yazzie was driving his motorcycle on the night of April 18 when he was killed in a collision and his family’s attorneys are alleging the accident would never have occurred if a stop sign at Palm Lane at Pecos Road was not down at the time of the crash.

A woman driving southbound in a SUV made a left-hand turn from Palm onto Pecos Road, hitting Yazzie’s motorcycle.

The lawyers also argue that the design of the intersection is flawed, with views of oncoming traffic obscured.

“Failure to maintain the stop sign in proper position and the design flaw of the intersection caused the collision and Mr. Yazzie’s death,” the lawyers wrote in the claim.

Yazzie had three minor children. The claim is also being filed on behalf of his girlfriend and parents. The lawyers are offering to settle for $25 million.

The majority of claims are resolved directly by the law department as the City Attorney is authorized in city code to settle claims at or below $25,000.

Negotiated settlements above that amount could be discussed in an executive session, but are required to be approved by the City Council in an open public meeting. These settlements could occur as a result of a claim or lawsuit being filed.

In other claims filed against the city last month:

• Ian Buszka was driving northbound on Price Road on May 3, 2022 when he became involved in a police chase.

Derek Cevedia was fleeing from officers after they allegedly found him asleep behind the wheel and observed evidence of drug use. When they woke him, he fled, hitting police cars to get away.

There are reports that he was driving at times between 80 and 100 miles per hour. The chase ended when Cevedia’s vehicle collided with Buszka’s. The suspect ran a red light at Price and Warner, hitting two other cars.

Buszka was trapped inside his vehicle and suffered serious medical issues as a result of the collision.

The legal claim says the officers following Cevedia did not take proper steps to protect the public and were not trained how to handle such an aggressive chase. It also faults them for allowing Cevedia to flee when they initially tried to arrest him.

The lawyers provided documentation of the medical issues, which were redacted by the city. However, the total price of more than $101,000 is visible.

The attorneys are offering to settle the claim for $2 million.

• A Chandler woman who was arrested for an outstanding warrant from Gilbert is asking the city to reimburse her the cost of a new cell phone.

During the arrest the only property she had with her was her cell phone, which she willingly surrendered to officers. She claims that the officer put her phone on the top of the police car, then forgot about it.

They didn’t realize it was lost until she asked for it later so she could get a phone number out of it. She says the officer admitted to losing her phone and she’s asking for $1,300 to buy a new phone.

• A Phoenix man is asking for $1 million because he claims Chandler Police officers struck him multiple times until he became unconscious.

Kameron Zimmerman says he was under an incoherent schizophrenic state of mind at the time of the confrontation.

He claims he was beaten so badly he wasn’t able to stand up to use a urinal.

The police report says officers were responding to a welfare check after a man was reportedly yelling at cars in front of an apartment complex.

An officer arrived and Zimmerman allegedly began walking toward his car, ignoring other moving cars in the street (McQueen Road). The officer claims a truck had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting him.

The officer led him off the road and asked Zimmerman to sit. He complied, according to the claim.

The officer said he showed behavior consistent with someone who had taken drugs, and he feared the suspect was a danger to himself, others and officers. He planned to handcuff him for his own safety.

Another officer arrived and the two tried to put the handcuffs on. Zimmerman resisted, standing up, and then charging the first officer in a manner that suggested he intended to tackle him. Other officers arrived and they were able to subdue him.

During a search afterwards, they found what they describe at a meth pipe. When Chandler Fire personnel arrived, they sedated Zimmerman and treated him for his injuries. He was taken to a hospital for further treatment.