NAMPA — Two families of the victims killed by a drunk driver who was eluding police intend to file a lawsuit against the Nampa Police Department and the city, according to a tort claim.
The families are seeking $1 million in damages for both 51-year-old Adam Zamudio and 55-year-old Rosa DeLaFuente, who were killed in the July 14 crash.
The tort claim, filed Nov. 13 by Litster Frost Injury Lawyers, claims Zamudio and DeLaFuente were hit by Joseph Sena “who was being recklessly and needlessly pursued by several Nampa Police Officers at a high rate of speed with indifference to the safety and wellbeing of the general public.”
Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff could not provide comment, citing the pending litigation. A call to the city’s lawyer, Mark Hilty, was not returned by press time Friday.
Sena, 50, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for two counts of felony vehicular manslaughter.
On July 14, a Nampa Police officer saw Sena stop his truck in the middle of East Sheridan Avenue for about 30 seconds before driving again, followed by failing to signal a turn onto South Locust Street, according to the affidavit. Sena sped away when the officer tried to initiate a traffic stop and a police chase ensued.
The pursuit did take place on residential streets at times where Sena was accused of reaching of up to 40 mph in unmarked 20 mph zones.
During the chase, according to the affidavit, Sena’s vehicle reached 70 mph while traveling on the 16th Avenue overpass in Nampa, right before the crash at the Third Street North intersection.
Officials denied comment in July on the number of patrol vehicles involved or the use of sirens during the July 14 chase, but pointed to department policy and state law mandating it.
A police official previously told the Idaho Press the officer who initiated the pursuit believed Sena was driving under the influence.