A 13-year-old girl from Riverside who survived a fiery car crash with an illegally parked big rig in 2009 was awarded $150 million by a jury on Tuesday, October 29th. Kylie Asam escaped out of her family’s SUV along with her brother Blaine, but her parents and another brother were unable to escape. The family was traveling for Thanksgiving.
The crash occurred when the family’s GMC Yukon rear-ended an illegally parked big rig on the 210 freeway near Montrose. The truck driver, Rudolph Ortiz, parked on a shoulder designated for emergencies only. He did not turn on his lights or emergency reflectors. His attorney offered various, changing reasons as to why Ortiz was on the shoulder.
The jury in the case deliberated for three days before reaching the $150 million verdict against Ortiz and his employer, Bhandal Bros. Trucking. The damages include compensation for Blaine Asam, who took his own life this past summer, just before his mother’s birthday. The financial award will be placed in a trust fund for Kylie.