REDWOOD CITY (BCN) – The family of a woman fatally struck by a big-rig while riding her bicycle in unincorporated Portola Valley last month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court against the driver and the trucking company he works for.

Lauren Ward was riding her bicycle west on Alpine Road near Highway 280 at about 3:40 p.m. on Nov. 4 when she was hit by an 18-wheeler and got trapped under the big-rig, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP released a report Monday that found the driver of the big-rig, Gabriel Manzur Vera, was not at fault in the case, but noted he had also been involved in two prior collisions that ended in fatalities. He was not found at fault in either of those cases too.

A separate investigative team, hired by Ward’s family and the San Francisco-based law firm Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & McGuinn, disagrees with the report’s finding, according to lawyer John Feder.

As a result, Feder filed the suit later Monday on behalf of Ward’s husband and two children against Vera and Randazzo Enterprises Inc., the Castroville-based company that owns the big-rig.

“While the CHP was conducting its investigation, we brought in scientists and other experts to evaluate the circumstances surrounding Lauren’s tragic death, and the team disagrees with the CHP’s conclusions as to the cause,” Feder said in a statement.

The family “would like a jury to hear the evidence and decide,” he said.

Officials with Randazzo Enterprises were not immediately available for comment.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is encouraged to contact the Redwood City area CHP at (650) 369-6261 or the law office at (415) 398-5398.

Comments (10)
  1. Injured cyclist says:

    Go after them. Going down on Highway 92 I was hit by a truck. The driver continued on his merry way. The traffic behind me stopped and another driver offered to go after the truck driver. He eventually caught up with him and got his coordinates. When the CHP got to him they did not consider his behavior a “hit and run”, despite the fact that the driver indicated that he did saw me wobble and fall in his rear mirror. My experience tells me that you can’t trust CHP on matters involving cyclists.

  2. Kevin says:

    So, Cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of other vehicles like following all public safety traffic laws but none of the same remedies when we are run over and left on the side of the road to bleed out.

  3. mscott says:

    I hardly ever see cyclists following traffic laws. you can’t whine as much when you all don’t follow the laws.

  4. D says:

    mscott, what are you, stupid?

  5. not sorry says:

    cyclists obey traffic laws only when they feel like it, which is seldom. you play, you pay.

  6. Kathlyn says:

    Unfortunately, the truth is the vast majority of the time, cyclists are responsible for the accidents they are involved in because they refuse to follow the rules of the road. I have never been nearly run over by a car, but I have many times by cyclists ignoring stop signs and red lights. If cyclists want to earn respect, they should start by following ALL the rules of the road and encouraging their fellow cyclists to do the same. And no, I am not excusing bad car drivers – there are many of those too.

  7. Jake Mcjug says:

    Did I read this right?? This same driver killed two other people?! Okay, I think the trucking company should of let him go and his license should be taken. I get that accidents happen but come on..three times.

  8. Maci says:

    Three deaths… wow! I can’t believe nothing was done the first time. What do all three of these deaths have in common?? Gabriel Manzur Vera. ARREST HIM AND GET HIM OFF THE ROAD!!

  9. SHAGGY says:

    I agree with most of the people on this blog. Cyclists ride all crazy and I have NEVER seen a cyclists follow the laws of the road. They simply think they have full range and do not consider that cars, trucks, etc are much bigger then they so they need to take extra precaution. I have an SUV and can never see cyclists weaving around my car. I am a careful law obeying driver and have almost hit cyclist because they come out of nowhere. They need to take some responsibility for their actions.

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