ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There is a new lawsuit over what led up to the deadly hit-and-run crash that killed a 7-year-old boy outside the River of Lights. The parents of Pronoy Bhattacharya are suing the city, the group running the event, and the restaurant that served the drunk driver claiming several preventable failures on that December night led to the crash that killed Pronoy.
“When something like this has occurred, we were expecting at least one person to come forward and say ‘I will do the right thing, even if he’s my friend, even if he’s my family.’ We did not see that,” said Pronoy’s father, Aditya Bhattacharya, following the verdict against Sergio Almanza.
Almanza was found guilty in August of driving drunk in an off-road ATV and killing the 7-year-old boy. The Bhattacharya family’s lawsuit claims more should have been done to keep people safe while attending the BioPark’s River of Lights and the restaurant that served Almanza and his friends should have done more to prevent this tragedy.
“We think of him every single day all the time,” said Deepshikha Chowdhury, Pronoy’s mother, at Almanza’s verdict hearing. “I think of the accident all the time, every night and I’m not exaggerating. So going up on the stand to speak aloud about it wasn’t very different.”
The city, the BioPark Society, and the event security are also named in the lawsuit. Bhattacharya’s family claims they didn’t do enough for traffic control on Central, that the path under Central wasn’t lit for people to walk through, and that there was more security for traffic control in years past.
“This is our first step to trying to rebuild our lives. Trying to put this behind us. Still think of Pronoy every waking moment but allow us to have a little more peace and comfort,” said Chowdhury.
In another allegation, the family claims the Mariscos Bar and Grill negligently served Almanza and his friends alcohol. They’re accusing the restaurant owners of intentionally, negligently destroying, or altering security video.
KRQE reached out to the city, the BioPark Society, and the restaurant named in the lawsuit. All three groups said they were looking into it but didn’t have any responses yet. Sergio Almanza is scheduled to be sentenced on November 29.