Three years ago, Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy Kurt Rossi was driving over 90 miles per hour on a dark, rural highway when he hit and ran over a pedestrian.
Just this week, the jury ruled that both he and the pedestrian, Kristle Clowers, 25, were negligent in her death. As a result, her two daughters will only receive $318,500 in damages, a fraction of what would have been if she had not been found negligent.
Both sides of the case agreed that on June 11, 2012, the night of her death, Clowers was negligent in her death by walking barefoot in the middle of the northbound lane while under the influence of methamphetamine, wearing a dark tank top and denim shorts.
What was mainly in dispute during the hearing was whether Deputy Rossi was also liable for Clowers’ death. The evidence showed that Rossi was not responding to emergency call at the time he hit Clowers, but was instead headed to Five Points to look for traffic offenders. Thus, he had no reason to be traveling at the speed he was going at the time. The defense contended that if Rossi had been traveling at the posted 55 mph speed limit, he could have avoided Clowers.