Lawsuit filed against city, building owner over fatal stolen van crash

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. KRQE - They lost a mother and her daughter in a crash caused by two suspects fleeing police in a stolen work van. Now the family of the victims is suing, but not who you might think.

He's a man tormented by the death of his wife and step-daughter.

"It's senseless, it's selfish," said David Arredondo.

Arredondo's wife, Shaunna, and step-daughter, Shaylee Boling, were killed in a car crash last year. 

Police say Elexus Groves was driving a stolen M Electrician van with Paul Garcia in the passenger seat.

As they were trying to get away from police, they ran a stop sign and crashed into Shaunna and Shaylee, killing them both.

Arredondo hasn't been shy about blaming Groves and Garcia, but in a lawsuit filed in November, he's now blaming the city of Albuquerque and the owner of the apartment complex right at the intersection of the accident.

"It's the absolute worst thing that I can think of," said Arredondo.

The lawsuit says the fence prevented Shaunna from seeing Groves speeding down Copper, when Shaunna was stopped at the intersection of Chelwood Park and Copper.

The lawsuit also says the owner of the building did not get a permit for the fence and the city failed to stop its construction.

KRQE News 13's camera shows how difficult it is to see past the fence while stopped at the intersection.

A spokesperson with the city's Planning & Zoning Department couldn't comment on the lawsuit, but confirmed the owner of the apartment complex never got the fence permitted.

Even though the lawsuit was filed four months ago, the city cannot tell us if the fence is up to code because they still haven't inspected it.

The city says inspectors cannot keep track of all the building violations throughout the city.

The say they rely on neighbors to send them tips. As far as the fence goes, no complaints have been made.

Back in September, the owner of the work truck, M Electric, agreed to pay the family more than $1 million for leaving that van warming up in a driveway.


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