The family of 47-year-old Los Altos Hills bicyclist Lauren Ward, killed when she collided with an 18-wheel truck in November 2010, settled its wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company.
According to San Mateo County Deputy Counsel David Levy, Ward’s family reached a confidential settlement with Randazzo Enterprises Inc. in advance of a pending summary judgment motion made by the state of California and San Mateo County that would preclude a trial.
The state and county became involved soon after Ward’s family filed suit against the trucking company, based in Castroville. In response, Randazzo Enterprises filed a lawsuit against the county and Caltrans, citing unsafe road conditions.
Following the settlement, Randazzo Enterprises withdrew its lawsuit. Ward’s family also withdrew a separate lawsuit filed against the county and state.
“I think we would’ve won and so did the trucking company and the family,” Levy said. “The road is safe. It did not cause the accident, which is why we so vigorously defended the case.”
Ward died when her bicycle hit a Randazzo Enterprises big rig at Alpine Road and Interstate 280 in Portola Valley. The truck driver involved in the collision, Gabriel Manzur Vera, 44, previously had been involved in two other fatal collisions. In all three cases, Vera was deemed not at fault.
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Levy concluded. “Obviously, we feel badly for the family. Who wouldn’t? Honestly, I feel badly for the truck driver, too. Who would want that on their conscience?”