A federal judge and his wife on Wednesday sued the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed their 23-year-old son in Pacific Palisades in 2013.
Dean and Sharon Pregerson, the parents of David M. Pregerson, filed the wrongful death suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against 67-year-old Marguerite Dao Vuong, seeking unspecified damages.
The suit also names her husband, Michael Vuong, also 67, and Warren Satz, who, according to the complaint, stopped at the scene of the Dec. 27, 2013, collision that killed the plaintiffs’ son David.
Neither the Vuongs nor Satz could be immediately reached for comment on the suit, which alleges Marguerite Vuong drove recklessly and took off without giving any assistance to the victim, who was walking in the 600 block of Chautauqua Boulevard when he was struck about 3 a.m.
The suit says Satz was driving in the area and “purportedly stopped to assist” David Pregerson after the accident. “However, in so doing, Satz dragged an unconscious David M. Pregerson from the street to the ivy bed along the shoulder,” where he was not found until several hours after sunrise, according to the complaint.
Satz then got back in his car and drove away without calling authorities, making his effort a “failed rescue” because his voluntary actions left David Pregerson concealed from the view of others who could render help, the suit states.
The budding filmmaker and recent UCLA graduate, whose grandfather was U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson, died four days later as a result of his injuries.
Marguerite Vuong, who pleaded no contest Feb. 6 to one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of the victim, was on her way to her job as a postal worker at the time, according to Deputy District Attorney Marna Miller.
Vuong’s husband pleaded no contest to one count of accessory to hit-and-run causing death. Michael Vuong tried to help his wife avoid prosecution by identifying himself as the person driving the car, according to the prosecutor.
The Vuongs, residents of Palms, are due back at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles for sentencing March 6. Marguerite Vuong could face a maximum of four years in state prison, while her husband could face up to three years in county jail.
Pregerson’s family and the Los Angeles City Council had each offered rewards of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.
— City News Service