Mother files lawsuit after child’s death
Almost three months after a 9-year-old boy was killed when his small motorcycle collided with a sport utility vehicle, the boy’s mother is suing both her ex-husband, who was watching over the boy, and the driver of the SUV.
In her suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages of more than $25,000, Suzette Steele alleges that the driver was under the influence of alcohol when he got behind the wheel of his vehicle.
However, California Highway Patrol reports on the crash state that the driver was not inebriated.
Steele also states in the suit that her ex-husband failed to supervise the boy before the crash.
Tyler Lason was riding a motorcycle near his home on Creek View Drive April 10 when a Chevrolet Blazer driven by 42-year-old Dale Traylor of Penn Valley came around a bend and collided with the boy’s motorcycle.
No criminal charges have been filed against Traylor to date. Deputy District Attorney Dave Walters said his office has not determined whether to file charges, in part because he did not receive a copy of the CHP report on the crash until June 23.
According to the CHP’s report, Traylor was found to have a blood-alcohol level below .08 – the state’s legal limit for drivers.
CHP officers also said Tyler Lason was following proper protocol at the time of his accident. Because Creek View Drive is a private road, it is exempt from statutes that require children to carry a permit to ride a motorcycle. The state Department of Motor Vehicles requires drivers to be at least 16 years old to ride a motorcycle or moped on a public road.
The suit, filed Monday, claims that Steele’s ex-husband, Larry Lason, was negligent in watching after Tyler by letting the boy ride on the curvy road with little visibility around corners.
Contacted at his home Tuesday, Larry Lason cited previous quotes by CHP officers who said Tyler was driving the motorcycle legally.
Steele’s attorney, John E. Stefanki of Sacramento, declined to comment for this story Tuesday. He said he needed to get Steele’s permission first. Steele could not be reached for comment.
Walters said he could soon determine what criminal charges, if any, should be filed.
“I think there are some witnesses that need to be interviewed,”
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