Angel Mendoza was the oldest of five children. He was a top high school student who was also attending community college to earn his Associates Degree. He was heavily involved in his church and with Upward Bound, a program that offers guidance and support to college-bound low-income students. That all came to an end in 2015 when Angel was killed in a car accident that could easily have been prevented had the road not been poorly designed. To make matters worse, the dangerous intersection where the accident occurred had no road signs warning drivers to yield to oncoming traffic.
Tamaki Law filed a lawsuit on behalf of Angel’s family in November 2017. The lawsuit stated that their son’s death was the result of the poorly-designed intersection. In September 2018, Yakima County settled the lawsuit for $1.6 million. It turns out that the intersection has a history of crashes similar to the one that killed Angel Mendoza.
The lawsuit indicated that Yakima County chose to lower the speed limit instead of redesigning the intersection to comply with national road design standards despite these crashes and complaints to the county from neighbors in the 1990s.
As part of the settlement, county engineers were required to meet with Angel’s family and their attorneys to discuss a redesign of the intersection to ensure no other victims are injured or killed due to the design. After that meeting the County Commissioners voted to begin the process of changing that intersection.
Read the full KIMAtv.com article: Lawsuit Settled Over Dangerous Yakima County Intersection Resulting in Teen’s Death