FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The family of the 22-year-old Amaya Chenot who was hit and killed by a tow truck in northeast Fresno is now taking legal action. Chenot's mother filed a civil complaint against 1st Class Towing and the tow truck driver involved in the crash.
This isn't the first run-in with the law for the tow truck driver. Fresno Police say John Ashcraft was driving the tow truck early on the morning of April 12th when he ran a red light on Friant Road, hitting and killing 22-year-old Amaya Chenot.
Family and friends were devasted by her sudden death.
"She was great, she was one of a kind and I don't think I will ever find a friendship like that," said Lupita Salazar, a friend of Chenot.
That complaint alleges Ashcraft was under the influence of a controlled substance when he ran a red light and smashed into Chenot's car. It also claims he took the substance knowing it would impair his driving.
Attorney Warren Paboojian, who has filed the complaint for Chenot's mother, said he has evidence to support the claim.
"My investigation indicates that he had a controlled substance in him at the time," said Paboojian. "So I don't believe it was a DUI. In other words, alcohol-related; however, there's a controlled substance. And we're waiting for the toxicology report to come back to confirm our suspicions."
The civil complaint seeks damages for wrongful death and coverage of the funeral and burial expenses. Paboojian said he is waiting on a response from the tow company and Ashcraft.
This isn't the only accident Paboojian is filing a suit for at that intersection.
"There's a number of drivers that run red lights in that area, so I actually have currently three accidents in that intersection, currently, including this one," said Paboojian.
In May of 2021, court records show that Ashcraft was cited for driving on a suspended or revoked license. Fresno Police couldn't say if Ashcraft had a license at the time of the crash last month.
"I don't have any information on the status of his license," said Officer Chris Clark, Fresno Police. "The investigation is still ongoing. This is a complex and lengthy investigation, and it's being treated as serious as a homicide."
Prior to the 2021 citation, Ashcraft pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance in January 2007. He was sentenced to 2 years probation and a Narcotics Anonymous Program. Court records show between his sentencing and October 2008, he had 3 drug-related probation violations.
No charges have been filed against Ashcraft in the April crash at this time.
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