Lawsuit filed against San Diego Gas & Electric in deadly crash

Ana Herrera Rodriguez hit by truck, dies

SAN DIEGO - A lawsuit was filed against San Diego Gas & Electric alleging the utility was negligent in a crash that killed a woman who was walking two children to preschool.

According to authorities, 37-year-old Ana Herrera Rodriguez was struck by an SDG&E truck on Jan. 22, in the 3900 block of Cottonwood Street.

Rodriguez was walking with her 4-year-old daughter and another 4-year-old girl when the crash happened. The girls survived with injuries, but Rodriguez was pinned underneath the truck and later died at the hospital.

The victim's son, Eduardo, said his mother had been holding hands with the girls as they walked to preschool classes and was trying to push them behind her to safety when she was hit.

The lawsuit was filed by the Arias family, whose 4-year-old daughter Jaslene was one of the girls hurt in the crash. The suit alleges SDG&E was negligent in failing to implement a no-cellphone policy for employees who operate company vehicles.

Investigators concluded that the driver, identified in court documents as John Lewis, was at fault for inattention. Authorities have not determined if the driver was using his cellphone at the time of the crash.

Todd Macaluso, the Arias family's attorney, said, "We suspect and have good reason to believe through sources that we've contacted that it was cellphone usage."

Macaluso said if SDG&E trained their drivers about the dangers of using cellphones on the road "this accident would not have happened and we would not have lost Mrs. Rodriguez, Jaslene would not be injured, Raquel would not have seen her daughter on the ground all cut up and her clothes torn and crying and this horrific scene that is something that we should never have to experience in our lives."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for Jaslene's injuries and the emotional scars both she and her mother will have for the rest of their lives.

The case is being forwarded to the City Attorney's Office.

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