The family of a pedestrian who was run over by a street sweeper have settled their wrongful death lawsuit against the companies that owned and operated the heavy equipment.
In February 2018, the victim, Mr. Alexandru Culai, was struck and killed by a street sweeper on 120th Avenue NE in Bellevue, Washington. With the help of a mediator, the parties agreed on a total settlement of $4,000,000.00.
The settlement is pending approval by the court because there are minors involved. The case had been set for trial in March 2020.
At the time of the fatal crash, Alex, a 44-year-old Christian musician and professional truck driver, was walking to pick up his tractor-trailer. A low-resolution video from a traffic camera seems to show Alex attempting to cross the street to avoid the construction zone, but an oncoming car prevented his crossing. Alex was walking approximately 20 feet behind the street sweeper in the construction zone when the sweeper reversed, and backed over him. The blunt-force head trauma killed Alex nearly instantly.
The street sweeper operator testified that he seen pedestrians in the area before the collision. Additionally, the street sweeper had a functional back-up camera. Other workers also recounted seeing people walking in the closed lane of the street. There were several witnesses to the event, but no one warned Alex – or the operator of the street sweeper – of the impending collision. One worker clearly remembered being near enough to Alex to make eye contact. But he did not act to warn of the danger, or stop the operator.
“When a private company takes over a section of public street, they also take over the duty of public safety” said Kevin Coluccio, a Seattle personal injury and wrongful death attorney at Coluccio Law.
Coluccio, along with Mr. Kenneth Brewe of Brewe Layman, represented Alex’s two older sons from a prior marriage, in the wrongful death lawsuit. Davis Law Group represented Alex’s widow and infant son. A large part of the four-million-dollar settlement will be held in trust for the boys, now ages 16, 10, and almost 2, for college or career training.
There were nearly 38,000 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. last year. “Most traffic deaths are not the result of ‘accidents’: they are predictable result of bad road design or bad driving decisions.” And, like so many other motor vehicle fatalities, “this was truly preventable” Coluccio said of the street sweeper tragedy.
“We hope that the settlement of this lawsuit will provide some closure to everyone involved.”
We respectfully ask that media continue to respect the privacy of Mr. Culai’s family, and direct any inquiries to the attorneys.
Kevin Coluccio – 206-826-8200
Kenneth Brewe – 360-419-9191
Chris Davis – 206-727-4000