By Joseph Serna
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — The family of a 27-year LAPD officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and the company that owns the truck that hit his vehicle and killed him.
Det. Ernest L. Allen Sr. was killed May 9 when an out-of-control concrete truck barreled downhill on Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills and slammed head-on into Allen's pick-up truck, which was northbound on the winding, sloping road.
The collision marked the fourth major crash on the road in less than a year and the second one to kill a Los Angeles Police Department officer. On March 7, Officer Nicholas Lee was killed near the same stretch of Loma Vista by an out-of-control truck that was in the area for construction.
The May 9 collision is still under investigation, but Beverly Hills police investigators say it appears the truck's brakes failed — the same issue that appears to have been involved in Lee's crash.
In the lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Allen's mother and two children assign responsibility for his death to the truck's driver for failing to maintain his vehicle; the company he worked for, Over & Over Ready Mix, for hiring him; and Beverly Hills and Los Angeles for designing the road and failing to keep it safe.
After Allen's death, the city placed a 30-day moratorium on heavy trucks using the road while safety measures were reevaluated.
The area is full of mansions, and homes there are frequently being renovated, torn down or rebuilt.
The city has since established rules for construction and truck use on the road, including having police verify that heavy hauling trucks are up-to-date on inspections, that only assigned routes are used and that the road be used only during certain hours of the day.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2014 the Los Angeles Times