The family of a Bedford County woman that an alleged illegal immigrant killed in a traffic accident last fall has filed a lawsuit seeking nearly $23 million in damages.
Specifically, the family of Keri King, including her siblings Cheri Blackwell and William King, want $7.5 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages.
As The Tennessee Star reported last fall, that alleged illegal immigrant, Edgar Torres Rangel, was allegedly intoxicated when he killed King in a traffic accident.
The lawsuit names seven people as defendants, including Torres Rangel and people affiliated with Rancho La Herradura, the Mexican rodeo where he allegedly got drunk a few hours before the wreck.
Other defendants the lawsuit names include Constantino Bonilla, Serio Ortega, John David Puckett, Holly Puckett, Leovigildo Lara, and Yolisma Lara, who are all said to involve themselves with Rancho La Herradura in different capacities.
The lawsuit says these individuals operated a nuisance “by permitting, encouraging, and profiting from illegal gambling, and drunkenness.” The document goes on to say they conducted business “for the purposes of illegal gambling, public intoxication, drunkenness, and the natural and foreseeable result of their operation, driving under the influence of alcohol on the streets and highways,” prohibited by Tennessee law.
The lawsuit goes on to say the Bedford County Office of Planning & Zoning issued a Cease and Desist Order, requiring that Rancho La Herradura stop operating the commercial enterprise of horse racing and retail alcohol sales, among other things. The Tennessee Secretary of State dissolved the Mexican rode two years ago, the lawsuit said.
“The plaintiffs move the court to end this public nuisance by entering an Order of abatement,” according to the lawsuit.
After the accident, Heritage Medical Center charged King’s family $35,354 for emergency medical services in an effort to save Keri King’s life.
King’s family is suing the defendants for wrongful death, loss of the pecuniary value of the life of Keri King, conscious pain and suffering of Keri King, and funeral expenses.
King was 29 when she died.
Torres-Rangel sustained his own injuries in the crash. Authorities transported him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He later escaped the facility without anyone noticing. Officers with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation recently placed Torres-Rangel on their 10 Most Wanted List.
As of this week, Torres-Rangel was still on that list.