The family of a California woman killed when a teenager ran through a red light at nearly 100 mph and crashed his Lamborghini into her vehicle was awarded $18 million.
Monique Muñoz was killed in the Feb. 17, 2021 crash in West Los Angeles. She was making a left turn when her Lexus sedan was hit by a Lamborghini Urus, driven by the then 17-year-old son of multimillionaire businessman James Khuri.
Muñoz, 32, died at the scene and the teen was hospitalized with moderate injuries.
Muñoz’s family filed a civil lawsuit in September, according to NBC Los Angeles. Their attorney announced the $18.75 million settlement on Wednesday.
“Today is a significant milestone because the Muñoz family can finally get some closure for this horrific tragedy,’’ attorney Daniel Ghyczy, said in a statement to the news station.
Investigators testified in a juvenile court hearing that the teen was traveling at 86 mph five seconds before the crash and the driver’s foot was “completely on the gas pedal 100 percent,”, according to NBC Los Angeles. Investigators said about two seconds before the crash the teen’s vehicle was at about 106 mph.
Data from the car showed that the teen did apply the breaks, but officials said the car only slowed to somewhere between 77 and 92 mph when it collided with Muñoz’s vehicle. The speed limit in the area was 35 mph.
The teen, whose name was not released by officials because of his age, was sentenced last year to serve seven to nine months in a juvenile camp after he admitted a Juvenile Court petition charging him with vehicular manslaughter, NBC Los Angeles reports.
Ghyczy, the attorney for Muñoz’s family, said the lawsuit was never about the money.
“The family faced numerous hurdles from both private insurance companies and the L.A. District Attorney’s office, and experienced the harsh realities of racism and bias against those from underserved communities,” he said in his statement.
Muñoz’s family had taken issue with the delay in officers arresting and charging the teen, implying that his family’s wealth was a factor. Police have said that the teen was not arrested until days after the crash because he was in the hospital.
“It was never about money for the Muñoz family, it was about acknowledgment of (the teen’s) misconduct that resulted in the death of their only daughter and to ensure that he was held accountable,” Ghyczy said. “Today’s settlement is a testament to their efforts and is a step closer to justice.”
Khuri posted a statement on his Instagram Story and said he hopes the settlement will help Muñoz’s family “build a new beginning that will honor her spirit.”
“As a parent, we hope for the best for our children and words cannot describe how we feel when horrible things happen to our kids. It saddens me that nothing can bring back Ms. Monique Munoz from the car accident between her and my son,” he said. “My deepest condolences to those who knew her and miss her.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism