City of Bettendorf is Being Sued About The Deadly I-74 Bridge Pedestrian Incident
A negligence lawsuit has been filed against the City of Bettendorf following an incident on the I-74 pedestrian bridge that left two men dead.
Chicago attorney Devon C. Bruce from Power Rogers, LLP filed the suit, claiming that Bettendorf was negligent, willful, and wanton in deciding to open the bridge's pedestrian path without protective barriers in place. It accuses the city of Bettendorf of pushing to open the path even though Iowa's Department of Transportation wanted to delay the opening. The suit was filed in Illinois.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the family of the 18-year-old that was killed, Anthony Castaneda.
In a press release, Bruce said:
This is a tragic and very preventable occurrence which has caused the death of two young individuals and caused serious injuries to another. This should never have been allowed to happen.
The incident happened just 4 days after the grand opening of the pedestrian/bike path on May 18. The allegedly drunk driver (Chhabria Harris of East Moline) ran up on the pedestrian path and traveled the near entire length of the bridge, from Bettendorf to 200 yards away from the Moline exit. It resulted in the deaths of 21-year-old Ethan Lee Gonzales and Castaneda. A third unidentified victim was in critical condition.
The City of Bettendorf isn't commenting on the lawsuit yet, saying the city hasn't been served or seen the lawsuit.
The Iowa DOT did install temporary barriers and signage after the incident to prevent things like this from happening in the future.