CALIFORNIA—The State of California is being sued in a wrongful death lawsuit involving the death of a Humboldt man who died in a car crash on highway 101. The suit was filed Tuesday, January 18.  

According to the suit, Caltrans and California State Parks were negligent when it came to maintaining the highway near Redcrest in Humboldt State Park after a decaying Douglas Fir fell on the highway which caused several crashes. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Rachelle Sepulveda after her father, Ruben Sepulveda, 52, died from his injuries inflicted by a car crash that transpired on the same portion of the highway where the decaying Douglas Fir lay.

Rachelle Sepulveda is seeking damages for the loss of her father and for the pain and suffering he endured in the days leading up to his death.

Her father’s injuries included a lacerated spleen, an acute kidney injury, multiple rib fractures, a left humeral neck fracture, a right tibial plateau fracture and a fracture of the radius and ulna on his left forearm. According to reports, Sepulveda’s father also suffered a heart attack and stroke, and required multiple surgeries before his death. The victim suffered for several weeks before he succumbed to his injuries. 

Caltrans has been sued multiple times in recent years. One case was a wrongful death lawsuit where a resident of a Modesto homeless encampment died because Caltrans machinery was being operated, “negligently and/or recklessly,” according to reports.