The father of 10-year-old boy struck and killed by Pima County Sheriff’s Department vehicle last month has filed a claim seeking $50 million in damages.
Xavier Arturo Sanchez died on July 15 when he was hit by the marked Chevy Tahoe driven by Pima County sheriff’s Deputy Jesus Verduzco, at Wyoming Street and Irvington Road.
Traffic investigators from Tucson Police Department, which handled the crash investigation, decided against submitting the case to the Pima County Attorney’s Office because they felt the circumstances did not warrant criminal charges against the deputy.
Verduzco was driving north on South Campbell Avenue south of Irvington Road en route to a non-emergency call for service about a civil matter when he hit the boy with his vehicle.
The deputy tried to swerve to miss Sanchez and was not speeding at the time of the accident nor were his emergency lights on.
Witnesses told investigators a group of children had been seen crossing back and forth across Campbell Avenue before the boy was struck.
Attorney Adolfo Lara filed the letter of claim on behalf of the boy’s father on July 31 with the county. A claim is often the precursor to a lawsuit.
“Vincent Sanchez is making a claim for the wrongful death of Xavier Arturo Sanchez, including the claims of loss of consortium, love, society, companionship, protection, discipline, comfort and guidance, medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost future economic support and the survivor’s emotional pain and suffering,” Lara wrote in the claim.
Lara would not comment; the boy’s father could not be reached.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department chose not to comment on the filing, citing a specific policy not to comment on legal claims.
The claim is one of several demands for damages filed recently against the Sheriff’s Department. The others include:
• Joseph Padilla, who is suing Pima County after being loaded into the the back of a deputy’s vehicle with a police dog. Handcuffed, Padilla claims he was bitten by the dog and is seeking $250,000 in damages
• David Wood, a fired Pima County Sheriff’s Department employee, who has filed a claim alleging a department investigation has made it difficult to find work and that deputies have driven by his home to harass him. He wants $150,000.