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Hemet sued over crosswalk crash that put teen in a coma

By in Press Enterprise on September 16, 2017

By Craig Shultz

The family of a Hemet teen severely injured in March while crossing the street en route to West Valley High School is suing the city, claiming faulty road design.

Nick Tusant, now 17, was headed to classes at the Hemet school March 24 when he was struck by a pickup while crossing Mustang Way, just steps from the campus. Suffering brain and other injuries, he was in a coma until April 16 and recently returned home after stays in the hospital and a rehabilitation center.

The complaint was filed last week in Riverside Superior Court against the city and Joseph Gervais, the driver who struck Tusant. It claims the city was negligent and failed to address a known, dangerous intersection, resulting in a car crashing into Tusant and causing him severe and life-altering injuries.

West Valley High School students use the crosswalk at Mustang Way and Morgan Hill Road after a March school day. The city of Hemet is being sued on a claim that the design of the crosswalk contributed to a crash that seriously injured Nick Tusant as he was walking to school. FRANK BELLINO, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG FRANK BELLINO, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Hemet Unified School District is not a party to the suit.

“It’s the city that controls and maintains the road,” said Ryan Saba, one of the Tusants’ attorneys.

The suit was filed by Rosen Saba, LLP and Law Offices of Robert P. Karwin after the city rejected a claim from the Tusants in August. No specific dollar amount was requested.

Saba said an amount can’t be determined because it’s unknown how much Tusant’s care will cost.

“His life was completely altered,” Saba said.

The city had not received the complaint as of Thursday, Sept. 14, City Attorney Eric Vail said.

“We cannot comment on this matter in detail at present, especially now since this appears […]    

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