Badly injured family plans to sue Chandler over horrific crash during chase

A Valley family just announced they plan to sue the City of Chandler for the police department's decision to start a chase that ended with a horrific crash.
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 9:24 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The lawyer for a Valley family seriously hurt in an RV crash that ended a chase said they’re planning to sue the Chandler Police Department. Mark Breyer said in a statement he and his clients, Andy and Norma Ramirez, just received new documents and video from police related to the crash that happened last year. Breyer said a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, has been filed, and his office still needs to go through the new evidence before a lawsuit can be officially filed.

On July 21, police said 32-year-old Arnold Serrano stole an RV and drove toward an officer. An officer fired their gun, hitting Serrano at least once. He sped off, and police started a high-speed chase through the city. “High-speed pursuit outside a very limited number of situations goes against the idea of keeping us safe,” said Breyer.

Serrano then caused a five-vehicle crash, with one car catching fire, investigators said. Police said he slammed into Ramirez’s car. The couple was driving home from dinner near Dobson and Frye roads. Andy spent nearly two weeks in a medically induced coma, according to Breyer, and had multiple surgeries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and more. Norma also spent several days in the ICU for numerous broken bones that required surgery and internal injuries. Andy and Norma’s two daughters were driving directly behind them and saw the terrible crash.

Breyer said the Chandler Police Department violated its own policy that bans high-speed chases for traffic violations, stolen vehicles and nonviolent felonies. He said police failed to plan and train for situations like what happened on July 21 and the soon-to-be-filed lawsuit will shine a light on the failed procedures and the need for change. “It’s a way of saying this can’t happen. And there needs to be accountability. But not just because I have two very seriously injured clients and two daughters who saw their parents involved in this. It’s much bigger than that. By bringing claims like this, we try to make sure not just the city of Chandler but police departments across the state and beyond take this very seriously,” said Breyer.

It’s unclear how much money Andy and Norma are suing for. Breyer added they hope the lawsuit will protect innocent people traveling on Valley streets and intersections.