October 29, 2009 - California City Facing Claim Over Accident

The father of a teen seriously injured in a car accident in Westminster alleges in a claim the California city is responsible for the accident.

Kurt Wilhite alleges the city should have taken steps to address a dangerous condition at the intersection where his 17-year-old son, Adam, was hit by a car and left in a coma with brain injuries, The Orange County (Calif.) Register said Wednesday.

Wilhite alleges in his $75 million claim against the city that city officials did not provide appropriate signage, safety features or lighting for the intersection.

Wilhite's teenage son was hit while crossing the street at the intersection on Oct. 19, 2008. A police report on the incident maintains the teen was hit after not yielding to oncoming vehicles while crossing outside of a crosswalk.

City council members have denied the claim, insisting appropriate public safety measures are in place at the intersection.

Wilhite told the Register the claim against the city is intended to offer his comatose son a secure future.

"He needs round-the-clock care," Wilhite said. "He needs to be fed. He needs to be bathed. Someone needs to brush his teeth. He's like this 6-foot 143-pound newborn."

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