The grieving family of a 67-year-old street vendor, Jose Rangel, who tragically lost his life after being struck by a stolen Amazon truck in South Los Angeles last year, has announced their intention to file a lawsuit.
The family visited the crash site for the first time since the incident on Tuesday and held a press conference to discuss the forthcoming lawsuit, which alleges negligence on the part of those involved.
The incident took place in March 2022, and dashcam footage captured the suspect, a male individual, seizing the opportunity to climb into the driver’s seat of the idling vehicle while the delivery person was occupied with a package drop-off.
As the suspect drove away, he lost control of the stolen truck, resulting in a collision with Rangel, causing immediate fatality.
Rangel’s loved ones revealed that he often set up his street vending stall to sell various items, in an effort to make a living and support his family.
Speaking on behalf of the family, attorney Sam Dordulian stated that the delivery driver acted negligently by leaving the vehicle unlocked, running, and unattended. Dordulian further emphasized that the truck was “filled with packages for people to come and steal—and that’s precisely what happened.”
According to Dordulian, Amazon claims that the delivery person was working for an independent delivery company, thereby asserting that the responsibility does not lie with the online retail giant.
“This has been incredibly challenging for our family,” expressed Rangel’s daughter, Maria Guarjardo, during the press conference. “Our father was an extraordinary man. He did not deserve to meet his demise in this manner.”
Guajardo, her voice filled with emotion, added, “It’s extremely difficult for my brother. He is not the same person. I mean, it’s tough. We don’t know what to do.”
Dordulian revealed that the delivery driver was attired in an Amazon uniform, and the truck prominently displayed the company logo.
“They create what they call ‘delivery service partners,’” explained the attorney. “These are supposedly independent companies that act as a buffer between Amazon and the individuals who may suffer harm due to an Amazon truck.”
Dordulian added that these companies often lack sufficient liability insurance to cover accidents similar to the one that claimed Rangel’s life.
The victim’s wife expressed that Rangel had been saving money with the hope of purchasing a house. Now, those dreams lie shattered.
“We had to relocate my mom closer to us to provide assistance,” shared Guarjardo. “We believe Amazon should take responsibility and address this matter appropriately.”