Family sues Calif., Caltrans for wrongful death

The family of a trucker who lost his life on the Bay Bridge is filing a claim against California and Caltrans for wrongful death.

April 28, 2010 11:23:00 PM PDT
The family of a trucker who lost his life on the Bay Bridge is filing a claim against the state of California and Caltrans for wrongful death.

Tahir Sheikh Fakhar fell to his death on November 9, 2009. He was driving his big rig over the Bay Bridge, but when he hit the S-curve, he lost control, hit a three-foot guardrail, his truck flipped over it and fell 200 feet.

He landed on Yerba Buena Island and died immediately.

Fakhar's family is claiming three things caused his death and Caltrans failed to warn drivers by not having adequate signage posted, having a faulty and poorly made design.

They say the S-curve formation is too sharp for drivers to handle and finally, the guard rail Fakhar slammed into was too short.

It was three feet high, while his rig was 12 feet high.

CHP has maintained from the beginning that Fakhar took the curve too fast. They say he was going 50 instead of 35 miles an hour.

"The indications are that he did not have to be speeding to have the type of accident that he did with this ineffective roadside barrier," Family's attorney Lew Van Blois said.

"After my brother died, the next day they put cameras up in the air, flashing lights and as soon as you pay that toll they say 35 mph speed limit S-curve. They could have put this thing before," the victim's brother Naveed Anjum said.

Fakhar was driving a load of pears to Daly City when he crashed. Anjum said it was Fakhar's first time crossing the bridge since the S-curve opened and that proper signage would have made all the difference.

Since the crash, Caltrans has added signs, rumble strips and stepped up patrol in the area.

ABC7 put a call into Caltrans and they said they have not seen the claim and cannot comment.


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