Texas Fire Department Sued For Wrongful Death

The family of a Texas man who died after being struck by a fire department ambulance yesterday has filed suit against the fire department and the unidentified ambulance driver.

Juan Pedro Guerra was killed on October 4. 2021 as he crossed a road after being released from the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center. He was struck by a Weslaco Fire Department vehicle. Guerra was 35 at the time.

The suit was filed by his mother, Laura Del Socorro Zamora, and two children, Nathan Alexis Guerra, and a minor child identified as J.I.G., seeking damages described as being in excess of $1,000,000.

The suit alleges:

  • On or about October 4, 2021, an accident occurred in Hidalgo County, Texas wherein Juan Pablo Guerra was struck and fatally injured by an ambulance driven by Defendant JOHN DOE on behalf of Defendant, WESLACO.
  • As Defendant John Doe operated the ambulance, John Doe, drove at an excessive rate of speed for the driving conditions and failed to yield the right of way or take any evasive measures to avoid striking Juan Pablo Guerra.
  • Upon information and belief, Defendant, WESLACO, is the owner of the vehicle and entrusted its use to Defendant JOHN DOE. At all times relevant hereto, Defendant JOHN DOE operated the ambulance during the course and scope of his employment.
  • As a result of the accident, JUAN PABLO GUERRA suffered the damages described herein.
  • Defendant WESLACO’s employee (John Doe) breached the duty of care in the following ways:
    • Failing to timely apply the brakes;
    • Failing to maintain a proper lookout;
    • Failing to maintain proper control of the vehicle;
    • Driving his vehicle at a rate of speed greater than that at which an
    • ordinarily prudent person would have driven under the same or similar circumstances;
    • Failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian; and,
    • Failing to operate his motor vehicle within his designated lane.
  • Defendant, WESLACO employee’s breach of duty cause injury to Plaintiff as described herein.

The suit was filed in Hidalgo County District Court. Here is a copy of the complaint:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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