Claim Filed In Fatal Crash Involving City Truck

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

It was October 20, 2010, around 11 in the morning when 24-year-old Alicia Rea ran into the back of a city truck on Maple at 129th Street. The impact scattered debris in the road and fatally injured Rea.

The question raised, did the city follow proper safety procedures, giving enough warning to drivers?

Now Rea's family has filed a claim with the city for negligence. In it, Rea's father, Robert, says the purpose is to "respectfully demand, that the City of Omaha preserve all evidence in connection with my daughter's death."

However, the city says that a police investigation shows that Rea had her cell phone with her in the car at the time of the crash. They also believe she accessed Facebook at some point prior to the collision. Now the city is trying to determine what role distracted driving had in the crash.

"We're looking to get the records from Facebook, and from the cell phone provider, and from the Event Data Recorder in the car," said Tom Mumgaard, Deputy City Attorney.

The city hopes the "black box" will show how fast Rea was driving, and if she tried to brake before the crash, as well as other factors. A court order allows the city to subpoena all three records to assist in the investigation.

"It was a big, huge, orange truck with lights on it, and somebody ran into the back of it for some reason, and we need to find out why," said Mumgaard.

Why, is the question everyone is asking after a bright young woman's life is lost.

The city has also conducted an investigation to ensure the city crew was following safety procedures, but they are not releasing their findings.

Although the family has filed the claim with the city, they cannot sue until the city denies the claim, or six months has passed since the crash.

The city has asked for the subpoena for those records because the vital information could be lost by that time.

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