The father of two young boys who were fatally struck by an SUV driven by an on-duty rookie sheriff’s deputy in Boyle Heights is suing Los Angeles County, alleging the vehicle was traveling at high speed even though the deputy was not responding to an actual emergency.

Luis Hernandez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges negligence and wrongful death and seeks unspecified damages.

“The Sheriff’s Department has not received this lawsuit nor had the opportunity to review it, therefore we will refrain from commenting on pending litigation,” a sheriff’s spokeswoman said in response to the filing.

Jose Luis Hernandez, 7, and his 9-year-old brother, Marco Antonio Hernandez, were killed and their mother was critically hurt around 7:25 p.m. Nov. 16  at South Indiana Street and Whittier Boulevard.

Two deputies were responding to a call about a gunshot victim when the SUV collided with two other vehicles in the intersection and then veered onto the sidewalk where the family was walking, according to a Los Angeles Police Department investigation.

The deputy driving the SUV was training for patrol duties and her supervising officer was in the passenger seat, Sheriff Jim Mc Donnell said previously.

The suit alleges the deputy “was not in the process of responding to an emergency call, was not in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law and did not have (her) sirens and/or lights activated.”

The deputy “was violating all industry standards for the safe driving of emergency vehicles,” according to the suit, which also alleges she should not have been allowed to “drive on the street before the completion of her training,” was “paying too much attention to too little” and “was driving in a distracted manner.”

–City News Service

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