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Leighton Law Case Featured on CBS Miami – Exclusive: City Of Hialeah Sued In Deadly Police- Involved Crash starstarstarstarstar


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CBS Miami – Exclusive: City Of Hialeah Sued In Deadly Police-Involved Crash

May 3, 2013 8:13 PM

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Questions have been raised concerning the Hialeah Police Departments initial findings in their investigation of a deadly crash involving one of their officers and the daughter of a newly-elected Miami-Dade School Board member. (Source: CBS4)

HIALEAH (CBS4) – CBS4 has obtained striking new surveillance tape of a deadly crash involving a Hialeah Police cruiser.

That crash took the life of the daughter of a Miami-Dade School Board member. Now, the attorney for the survivor of that crash has filed a lawsuit against the City of Hialeah.

“I was in a wheelchair for close to 5 months. Something must happen,” said that survivor, Marco Barrios, in an exclusive interview with CBS4`s Peter D`Oench. “It`s been 6 months now since this happened and something must be done about it.”

Barrios`s attorney, John Leighton, obtained the new surveillance tape from a car dealership across the street from where the incident happened at 9:42 p.m. on October 19, 2012 at the corner of East 9thCourt and 49th Street in Hialeah.

Leighton told D`Oench that said the surveillance tape shows what happens just after a 2012 black Jeep driven by 23-year-old Marco Barrios was broadsided by a cruiser driven by Hialeah Police Officer Raul Somarriba.

The accident took the life of Barrios`s girlfriend, Andrea Castillo, 21, and left with Barrios with a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and head and internal injuries. Castillo was the daughter of Miami-Dade School Board member Susie Castillo.

The surveillance tape shows the sudden impact when the black SUV that Barrios is driving is struck. The tape shows the vehicle rolling over and hurtling into and damaging cars at the dealership.

“You can tell the police car hit the jeep with such impact it has pushed it half a block and rolled it over so there was a lot of speed and a lot of momentum,” said Leighton.

In his lawsuit that was filed Wednesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Leighton shows a photograph of the mangled back SUV and says Somarriba “negligently,

Carelessly and recklessly” operated his vehicle on a road with a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour.

“The evidence we have so far was that the police officer was driving without lights or siren on in excess of 85 miles per hour,” Leighton told D`Oench. “He may have been going in excess of 100 miles per hour on the road. It`s unacceptable and under any circumstances you don`t put the public in danger like this. This mistake cost one woman her life and cost Marco his health.”

“This lawsuit is going to open up the box and allow us to look inside to see what Hialeah`s been hiding so we can let everyone know what happened that night,” said Leighton. “We`re going to see what evidence the city has of the speed and this is evidence the city has refused to turn over so far. It`s been kept from the public.”