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UPDATE: Mayor Speaks Out on Lawsuit Filed in Crosswalk Death

The parents of a killed Arcadia High teen have filed a lawsuit against the city.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports the parents of an student have filed suit against the city of , as well as the driver who struck and killed their daughter in a Duarte Road crosswalk last April.

The suit, filed in August by attorney David B. Casselman on behalf of his clients, Yongjian "Richard" Zhang and Ruixia "Nancy" Zhang, alleges the city failed to take adequate action to make the crosswalk safer, despite two accidents that occurred prior to the .

The accidents took place in 2004 and 2008, well before Arcadia resident Bowen Du struck Zhang, killing her and seriously injured her friend, Priyanka Patel, 16, of Upland. Du, 19, faces up to six years in state prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter. He has to the charge.

According to the suit, the flashing yellow lights governing the crosswalk, located in the 600 block of Duarte Road, are confusing and difficult for motorists to see in certain conditions.

“This accident has been a terrible tragedy for Alice’s parents, friends, and our community," wrote Mayor Gary Kovacic in an e-mail to Patch. "All Arcadians continue to grieve for such a loss.  We have not been able to review the lawsuit yet, but are not aware of any evidence that the City of Arcadia was negligent in its efforts to protect the public.”

The suit also claims negligence on the part of Du contributed to the fatal accident; his failure to clean his dirty windshield, coupled with glare from the setting sun, created the perfect storm.

Du's attorney, Even Freed, could not be reached for comment.

In a claim against the city filed in June, Richard and Nancy Zhang asked for $5 million.

Check Patch later for updates on this story.

Ross S. Heckmann September 29, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Every time I see Alice's photograph I am saddened. Of course the parents should sue Du the driver of the car that struck & killed Alice in the crosswalk. How in the world could anyone claim that his negligence did not cause the death of Alice??? As for the city of Arcadia's possible liabiltiy, that would require me to be more familiar with the facts and to have more expertise than I currently have, though to be sure the fact that there are two prior accidents at this crosswalk even before Alice's death is at least a suspicious circumstance that would require further looking into. I hope that the crosswalk is made safer, regardless of whether it is required by law or not, or that the crosswalk is eliminated outright if it cannot be made sufficiently safe.
Sandra September 30, 2011 at 06:37 PM
Du: Misdemeanor City: Negligent Homicide
Patty October 01, 2011 at 08:47 PM
I got in an accident at that same crosswalk when a car wasn't aware a lady was crossing. The police that came and took the report acknowledged that it has always been a problem area and that's why they put a crosswalk. All the mayor needs to do is take some time and observe what goes on there and maybe cross himself and he will come aware of the multiple near misses that occur throughout the day there
Sandra October 01, 2011 at 11:28 PM
It's really simply stunning that they'd keep in in place given not only all of the complaints, but the FATALITY, the accidents and the near-tragedies. This isn't speculation or random hypotheticals.... most are documented FACTS. It just doesn't make any sense. What's the motivation for not changing it? Money? Can someone tell me?
Sandra October 01, 2011 at 11:28 PM
"...keep IT in place..."
John February 23, 2013 at 08:24 AM
I just crossed that very crosswalk today. The drivers can't see anything. I even saw one lady drive in front of me covering her eyes from the sun - which meant she couldn't see where she was driving either. The city of Arcadia is well aware of that crosswalk's problems. And has been completely inadequate in taking actions to make the crosswalk safer.

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