Donovan Maldonado, 7, was riding his bicycle across Shepard Avenue between Millbrook and Perrin on July 25th. He was with his family when he was struck and killed; his father and sister suffered major injuries.
Attorney Warren Paboojian says the crosswalk spanning Shepard Avenue was poorly designed. He said, "It's a combination of lighting, signage and the design of the crosswalk where it's at." He also says it contributed to the child's death. Court paperwork states, at the time of the accident, "The City of Fresno knew, or should have known, that it negligently planned, designed, constructed, maintained and or managed a dangerous condition." He also stated, "It really doesn't need to be there, there's no real purpose for it needs to be taken out and everyone who lives in that area understands that."
The lawsuit also holds Loren LeBeau responsible. The former Central High School Basketball Coach pled not guilty in criminal court. LeBeau's attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt, told Action News, "City of Fresno needs to accept its portion of the responsibility for the accident, which should include closing the crosswalk or making it substantially safer."
In the documents, Paboojian is asking for damages, fees and compensation for the Maldonado family. "The clients have substantial medical bills in the past and future some of this is to compensate medical bills in addition to their pain and suffering."
Local residents who live near the crosswalk say Shepard Avenue has become an extremely busy thoroughfare and some feel residents will cross with or without the crosswalk.
Attorneys for the city of Fresno say they've not actually seen the lawsuit and are withholding comment until they have a chance to look at it.