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Gov. Rick Scott orders city of Hialeah to pay Andrea Castillo's family $455,000

Castillo killed after car crash involving Hialeah police officer

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HIALEAH, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday ordering the city of Hialeah to pay $455,000 to the mother of a woman who was killed in a car accident in 2012 involving a Hialeah police officer.

Susie Castillo filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city after she said authorities failed to airlift her daughter, Andrea Castillo, to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Andrea Castillo, who had turned 21 years old the day before the crash, suffered severe head trauma after her boyfriend's SUV collided with an undercover police cruiser Oct. 19, 2012, at E. Ninth Court and 49th Street.

According to Hialeah police, Castillo's boyfriend, Mario Barrios, ran a stop sign and drove into the path of the unmarked police car. The SUV the pair was riding in flipped several times after it was hit. Police said Barrios and Castillo weren't wearing seat belts.

But Castillo's family said they were less concerned with how the crash happened, and more upset with what happened afterwards.

"How is it that this young girl who was hanging on to dear life was not airlifted?" an attorney for the Castillo family, Jorge Silva, told Local 10 News in 2012.

Hialeah paramedics called Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, who airlifted Officer Raul Somaribba, to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Somaribba suffered several broken bones.

Castillo and Barrios were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Somaribba was on duty at the time, but authorities said he was not on his way to call and did not have lights and sirens on. Hialeah police also said they did not believe speed was a factor in the crash.

Barrios' attorney, John Leighton, told Local 10 News in 2013 that he obtained surveillance video from a car dealership across the street from where the incident happened, which shows that Somaribba was speeding during an unauthorized chase.

Barrios has maintained that he and his girlfriend were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and said that he fully stopped his SUV at the stop sign.


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