Family of teen paralyzed in ‘atrocious’ crash sues city and HPD, alleging a cover-up
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a 14-year-old boy paralyzed in a car crash in Makaha nine days ago has sued the city and Honolulu Police Department, alleging the incident was the result of a police chase and that officers tried to cover it up.
Three Honolulu police officers are under criminal investigation in connection with the crash.
Dayten Gouveia has shown some progress from his injuries and can move parts of his upper body but he still can’t move from the waist down, family attorney Eric Seitz said.
Added one of his uncles: “There are no words to express how this has affected our family. I can say this: In our family there is really no anger but it’s more sadness.”
The lawsuit alleges that officers caused the collision with an illegal chase and then tried to cover up their involvement by filing reports falsely describing the crash as a single-car accident.
“Their failure to render aid ― just on a humanitarian basis ― is atrocious,” said Seitz.
“I don’t know what kind of people these officers are that an accident like this would occur ... and they would just drive away.”
The three officers have been suspended as investigations are underway.
“These are extremely serious allegations, and the criminal and administrative investigations into what preceded the collision in Makaha are continuing,” said acting HPD Chief Rade Vanic.
Seitz said said he normally doesn’t file a lawsuit so soon after an accident. But he said he needed to be able to quickly subpoena security camera video taken by nearby businesses.
He also said the lawsuit will allow Dayten’s family to tap into the driver’s car insurance policy to begin paying some of his initial medical expenses, which will be astronomical.
“In these kinds of cases, were talking about may be $15 to $20 million if in fact his paralysis persists,” said Seitz.
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