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Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Murder and Reckless Driving for Deadly Crash

police car lights at night

The family of a 12-year-old boy killed in a car crash triggered by an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy is searching for answers and justice after a senseless high-speed collision in a school zone.

On Tuesday, South Gate police arrested 28-year-old Ricard Castro, who prosecutors charged with murder, vehicular manslaughter, and reckless driving.

In November 2022, Isaiah Suarez Rodriguez and his adult sister were in a car on San Juan Avenue near the intersection of Firestone Avenue in South Gate when Castro's pickup truck T-boned their vehicle. Isaiah died at the hospital, and his sister suffered injuries along with three other adults, according to police. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office told media outlets that Castro traveled at about 95 mph on the street in a school zone with a 25 mph speed limit.

“Tragically, a 12-year-old boy was killed in the space where he should have been most safe. His family and classmates are left to try to make sense of such a preventable tragedy,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release.

Investigators will continue looking for information into why a Sheriff's Deputy would show a conscious disregard for the safety and the lives of people in the community.

Government entities can be held accountable for the misconduct of members of law enforcement charged with crimes through various means. One way is through civil lawsuits filed by the victim or their family against the government agency for the deputy's actions. The Sheriff's Department issued a statement saying Castro was placed on paid administrative leave after the crash and has been relieved of duty without pay.

Accountability for the actions of public servants rests with the government entity that employs them, and it is their responsibility to ensure that their employees are acting within the law and upholding their duty to the public.

Our firm is committed to holding public entities accountable for the actions of Sheriff Deputies who engage in reckless driving and cause harm to innocent drivers on the road. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we understand the devastating impact these incidents can have on victims and their families. We are committed to fighting for their rights and securing the compensation they deserve. Our team of experienced attorneys has a proven track record of achieving justice for our clients by tirelessly pursuing legal action against those responsible.

Results in Police Misconduct Cases:

Distracted Driving Wrongful Death- $11.5 Million Settlement

• A LA County Sheriff's Deputy, distracted while driving, struck and killed a bicyclist.

Police Misconduct- $7.675 Million Settlement

• The plaintiff suffered paraplegia following a reckless police pursuit.

Police Misconduct- $5.4 Million Settlement

• A public entity was held accountable following a reckless police pursuit that resulted in the plaintiff's traumatic brain injury.