The family of Raymond Yeghiazarian are claiming Metro violated his civil rights when officials attempted to cover up the reckless behavior of the officer who caused the crash that took Yeghiazarian’s life. A jury had previously awarded the family $2.2 million dollars but the judgement was reduced to $250,000, the maximum payout allowed for wrongful death suits in Nevada.
The family claims Metro detectives of deliberately slanting their investigation to favor officer Jared Wicks, thereby depriving Yeghiazarian of his right to due process. The accident occurred in the last hours July 4, 2007 when Wicks, who claims he was in pursuit of a mysterious white van, was driving between 60 and 75 mph in the 45-mph zone and did not slow down before going through an intersection where Yeghiazarian was making a left turn on a green yield light. Wicks was travelling without lights or sirens.
Wicks suffered minor injuries in the crash, while Yeghiazarian remained in a coma for 22 days before he died.
The family’s attorney, Marc Saggese, said “Officers at Metro conspired to muddy the waters in relation to the accident to absolve their brother,” Saggese said detectives wrongfully claimed Yeghiazarian was 100 percent at fault, refused to release 911 calls that would have implicated Wicks, tampered with information on the police vehicle’s “black box” and declined to interview witnesses that made unfavorable statements to police.