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Surviving victims, family members in deadly Christmas Day car crash file claims

March 20, 2013

Surviving victims and family members of a deadly Pasadena car crash that occurred during a police pursuit on Christmas Day — a Glendale woman and a Daly City boy — have filed claims against the city that could pave the way for wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

The five claims filed on March 11 contend police were negligent in giving chase over what amounted to a vehicle code infraction.

“Due to the dangerous and hazardous conditions created by high-speed police pursuits in populated areas, it was careless, negligent and unnecessary for the involved law enforcement officers to engage in high-speed pursuit initiated by a minor vehicle infraction,” the claims read.

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At around 8 p.m. on Dec. 25, a Dodge Durango failed to heed a traffic stop and led a Pasadena police officer and FBI agent on a brief chase before colliding with a Mazda minivan that was attempting a left turn from Marengo Avenue onto Maple Street.

The crash killed minivan passengers Kendrick Ng, 11, and Tracey Ong Tan, 25, and injured Kendrick’s parents and sister. Ong Tan and the boy were cousins, said Harry Lippman, a Beverly Hills attorney representing the family.

At the time of the crash, the family was heading back to Glendale after an outing at the Pasadena Ice Skating Center, Lippman said.

Kendrick’s parents — Kenric and Irene Ng of Daly City — and 16-year-old sister Kristell Ng filed claims against the city. Ong Tan’s parents, Alfredo and Paz Ong Tan, who live in the Philippines and were not involved in the crash, also filed claims.

Irene Ng suffered a fractured neck and hip and Kristell suffered a fractured spine and pelvis, but neither were paralyzed, Lippman said.

Kenric Ng, who was driving the minivan, suffered minor head injuries.

A city spokesman declined to comment on the claims.

The city has 45 days to settle or deny the claims. Denying the claims opens the door to legal action.

The traffic stop that led to the pursuit and crash happened during a joint gang-suppression effort by police and the FBI after the fatal shooting of youth sports organizer and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee Victor McClinton earlier that day.

McClinton, 49, was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related shooting outside his home near the corner of Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street, according to police.

The driver of the Dodge Durango, 22-year-old Darrell Williams of Pasadena, and passenger Brittany Washington, 21, of Los Angeles were charged in January with two counts of murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, illegal possession of a firearm and gang allegations.

Larry Bishop Jr., 20, and Jerron Harris, 25, have been charged with murder, attempted murder and gun and gang-related charges in McClinton’s shooting, which also injured a known gang member who police say was their intended target.

A third defendant, 20-year-old Gary Davis, has been charged as an accessory to the crime.

--Joe Piasecki, Times Communtiy News

Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.

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