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Couple claims intersection negligence after fatal crash

March 16, 2011|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

A woman whose car hit and killed an infant after she was rear-ended and her husband have filed separate claims against the city, saying it neglected the intersection where the crash took place.

Caryl Johnson was headed northbound on Springdale Street in Huntington Beach on Sept. 7 when she stopped at Croupier Drive to allow a woman, two children and an infant in a stroller to cross the street.

However, Robert Anthony Casares, 50, of Huntington Beach, failed to stop and rear-ended Johnson's car, causing it to hit the family, resulting in 4-month-old Ruby Gould's death.

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Johnson was also injured, according to both claims, which were filed March 8. Johnson's husband, Ronald Johnson, is also claiming a loss of consortium.

Ruby and her mother, Renee Gould, were visiting from Australia.

Ruby's family has filed $40 million in claims against the city for each of the members who were at the intersection.

The Johnsons' claims do not specify a dollar amount. Their attorney filed an unlimited civil case against the city for negligence, liability and failure to correct a dangerous public condition, which means the damages will be determined by the superior court.

Casares was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. He was sentenced to three years of informal probation, ordered to complete 300 hours of community service as a school crossing guard and donate $5,500 to the Joyful Child Foundation.

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