The mother of one of three people killed in a fiery three-vehicle collision in Burbank in 2021 that allegedly occurred during an illegal street race is suing the city and Los Angeles County, alleging officials knew of prior unlawful high-speed conduct and failed to take proper steps to curtail it.
Nichole Richardson, the mother of the late Jaiden Kishon Johnson of Burbank, brought the negligence/wrongful death suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming as defendants the drivers and owners of the vehicles allegedly involving in the street race, including 20-year-old Hamlet Arseni Aghajanyan of Burbank. He has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of reckless driving, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Representatives for the county and city did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Along with the 20-year-old Johnson, those also killed in the Aug. 3, 2021, crash on North Glenoaks Boulevard at Andover Drive were Cerain Anthony Raekwon Baker, 21, of Pasadena, and Natalee Asal Moghaddam, 19, of Calabasas.
Despite allegedly knowing about past high-speed contests on Glenoaks and other busy streets in the city and elsewhere in the county, neither government entity did anything to “deter or prevent dangerous and illegal street racing and high-speed activities from occurring, despite having the means and ability to do so.”
The victims were in a silver Volkswagen Jetta that was “attempting to negotiate a left turn from southbound Glenoaks Boulevard to eastbound Andover Drive, when the traffic collision occurred,” Burbank police Sgt. Emil Brimway said shortly after the crash.
Aghajanyan, who was in a gray Kia, was seriously injured, according to police. A teen, then 17 years old, was allegedly behind the wheel of a black Mercedes-Benz racing the Kia and he also is a defendant in the suit, as is the Volkswagen’s driver, Shana Rohani, even though Rohani was not involved in the alleged street race.
Johnson had a full-time job working security and spoke daily to his mother after having recently moving to California to “chase his dreams and goal of becoming a music producer” and his goals had just started taking shape, the suit states.
“Unfortunately, this incident took Jaiden Johnson’s life, dreams and goals away prematurely,” the suit states.