Civil lawsuit filed in fatal stolen van crash

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of the mother and daughter killed in a crash last month filed a lawsuit against the alleged thieves who crashed into the pair, along with the worker who allegedly left the vehicle running.

The civil suit filed in Santa Fe District Court by David Arredondo, the widower of 39-year old Shaunna Arredondo-Boling, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. The criminal complaint stated 14-year old Shaylee Boling was killed instantly in the crash and her mother, Shaunna died two weeks later from her injuries.

The criminal complaint also shows it was a stolen work van that crashed into the pair driven by 21-year old Elexus Groves and 24-year old Paul Anthony Garcia.

According to online court records, the lawsuit names Groves, Garcia, the worker who had the van, the company M. Electric, Inc. and the company’s owner Miguel Silva as defendants.

The suit alleges that Garcia and Groves were driving negligently when they caused the crash which killed Shalyee and her mother. It also stated there was negligence from the worker who left the vehicle running unattended, “allowing it to be taken.”

The lawsuit could set a precedent in a city where more and more crashes are being caused by car thieves. It’s a precedent not everyone in Albuquerque agrees with.

“I don’t think anyone should be held responsible for the illegal acts of another,” Joe Bentley said.

“I don’t think it’s the company or the man’s fault,” Tracy Knighton said. “It’s the person’s fault who stole the car.”

APD has warned the public about the dangers of leaving their cars unattended while warming up. Officer Simon Drobik said it’s simple.

“Just don’t leave your keys in the car and don’t warm up your vehicles. Don’t be a victim of crime. These guys are out actively looking for cars warming up,” he said.

On Monday, Groves was finally arraigned in Bernalillo County District Court. The judge ordered that she remain behind bars without bond. Groves and Garcia are both charged with two counts of first-degree murder, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and other related charges.

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