Sacramento has agreed to pay $9.75 million to the parents of a 9-month-old boy who was killed after his parent’s car was rear-ended by an undercover police car. The parents and their young son were on Interstate 80 during heavy traffic hours. An off-duty police officer and his children in a Ford Explorer belonging to the police department hit the back end of their car at roughly 60 MPH. Young Raiden Saechao was correctly strapped into his car seat but died several days later from severe head trauma.
The accident occurred in December of 2013. The couple had suffered several miscarriages as well as the death of a newborn before having Raiden. A court battle began and lasted three years before the city settled for almost 10 million dollars. Prosecutors chose not to file criminal charges. The lawsuit claimed that the officer’s distracted driving caused the death of the child. Officer Greg Mark Halstead is still employed by the police department and denies all allegations brought in the lawsuit. The city claimed the officer was not working at the time of the accident. The parents say they will donate a portion of the money to raising awareness of distracted driving.