Lawsuit Filed in Fatal Hawthorne Police Department Crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The husband of a woman who died when the car she was in was T-Boned by a Hawthorne Police Department squad car has filed a lawsuit. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2014.

    The husband of a woman killed when the car she was in was hit by a Hawthorne Police Department squad car is suing the department.

    Last July, Carlos Cerna’s wife, Karina Preza, was killed when the car she was in was T-Boned by a Hawthorne police car.

    Witnesses say the squad car was traveling without lights and sirens when she was hit at 2:30 in the morning. Preza was headed to pick up her husband who was getting off his late shift at work.

    Mother Killed in Crash With Police Car is Mourned

    [LA] Mother Killed in Crash With Police Car is Mourned
    Friends and relatives held a vigil for a 34-year-old woman killed in a crash with a Hawthorne Police Department patrol car. Her family was struggling to pay for her funeral. Jane Yamamoto reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

    Since her death the family says no one from the city has given them an explanation of what happened or even apologized for the loss.

    "She was so dedicated to our home, dedicated to our kids," he said in Spanish.

    Cerna says his wife was a loving and affectionate mother who cared for their three children while he worked.

    But ever since she died, he's taken over caring for the kids. Through tears, he said he struggles to provide for his family.

    "It's difficult because I can't work," he said.

    Rahul Ravipudi, the family’s attorney, is suing the city and the police department saying this could have been avoided.

    Cerna continues to try and keep the promise he made to his wife before she died in the hospital.

    "I told her that I would take care of our children," he said. "And that is what I am trying to do."

    A call to the Hawthorne City Attorney’s Office was not immediately returned.

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