The family of one of the two Los Angeles police officers killed on the same steep street in Beverly Hills in a cement truck crash is suing Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and the owner and driver of the truck.
Ernest Allen, an LAPD detective, was headed to his second job as a security guard for singer Stevie Wonder May 9 when the truck he was in was hit by a cement truck on Loma Vista Drive. Allen was a 24-year veteran of the force.
"It was really a needless tragedy," said Brian Panish, the family's lawyer. "We want to make sure they make more appropriate changes and they continue to do it and that the truth comes out."
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Allen’s mother and children are suing both cities, the cement truck driver, Brandon Cascio, and Sun Valley-based Over & Over Ready Mix Inc. alleging wrongful death, negligence and dangerous condition of public property.
Over & Over Ready Mix was negligent in its business practices, hiring Cascio even though they knew he was unqualified to operate the vehicle, the lawsuit said. The suit also maintains Cascio was driving at an "unsafe" speed contributing to the officer’s death.
The suit alleges that Loma Vista Drive was "dangerously defective" and constituted a "concealed trap" for drivers and the city did nothing to fix it.
Cascio was critically hurt in the crash.
Beverly Hills city officials said they had not yet recieved the lawsuit on Aug. 6. Company officials for Over & Over Ready Mix could not be reached.
Following the crash, Beverly Hills officials adopted a safety plan to cut truck speeds to 15 mph and require a one-day notice for large deliveries. The rules also say truckers must carry proof of vehicle inspection.
The site of the wreck was less than 30 yards away from where LAPD officer Nicholas Lee was killed in March by a cement truck while responding to an emergency call.
Kim Baldonado contributed to this report.