News

Coral Gables to settle

The Coral Gables City Commission approved a settlement on Tuesday that will pay almost $2 million for medical bills of a University of Miami student who was struck last fall by a street sweeper, according to a story in The Miami Herald. A settlement of $1,960,500 will help cover junior Bianca Milov’s medical bills that come to $1,250,000.
The City of Coral Gables will use $310,000 from the city’s insurance fund to cover a portion of the settlement.
Milov, 20, of Livingston, NJ was walking near the Village of Merrick Park at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 11 when the incident occurred.  Milov walked down a poorly lit side street in dark clothes and it was drizzling. Jose Santiesteban, 44, the driver of the Coral Gables street sweeper was traveling east on Altara Avenue and turned, going north on Aurora Avenue and hitting Milov as she was crossing the pedestrian walkway.
Santiesteban drove 153 feet until an alarm told him that something was causing the sweeper to malfunction. A witness at the scene called out to him saying that a person was under the sweeper.  He then drove 60 feet backwards. Milov was ejected, lying unconscious on the road. At first, Santiesteban gave police a false account.
The police report, released 10 days after the incident occurred, said a person was stumbling across the cross walk, “not doing ‘good’, and fell down.”
As Santiesteban drove on, he “felt a bump,” according to the report.
Police say Mr. Santiesteban fabricated the person stumbling and falling because he was scared after the crash.
A Coral Gables employee since 2006, Santiesteban was charged in November with a civil traffic infraction, for failure to yield to a pedestrian. Milov was in critical condition when taken to the intensive care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
“It’s a very difficult medical situation,’’ said Aaron Podhurst, the Milov family’s lawyer, according to The Miami Herald. “We are very hopeful she will continue to recover, but she has a long haul in front of her.’’

Andrea Concepcion may be contacted at aconcepcion@themiamihurricane.com.

April 14, 2010

Reporters

Andrea Concepcion

Contributing News Writer


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