Lawsuit Filed Against City of Riverside Following Crash Killing Obed Carbajal

Posted on December 14, 2023

Attorneys Erika Contreras and Robert Glassman have filed suit on behalf of the mother and siblings of Obed Liam Barbosa Carbajal who was tragically killed in a head-on collision last spring, The lawsuit seeks to hold the city accountable for its negligence in failing to implement corrective measures on a stretch of roadway that has been a known hazard for more than a decade.

“The Carbajal family lost their beloved Obed and suffered an unimaginable tragedy that has forever changed the course of their lives,” said Ms. Contreras. “It’s shameful that it took the death of a child for the City of Riverside to implement some of the necessary safety measures that it had contemplated for years, knowing this roadway was a danger to the public.”


On the morning of May 16, 2023, Kially Carbajal, 25, was driving her siblings to school on eastbound Arlington Avenue in Riverside, California. Her brother Mario, 16, sat in the front passenger seat, and their younger siblings, 10-year-old Kiara Carbajal and 8-year-old Obed, were seated in the backseat. As their vehicle approached the bend on Arlington Avenue near the intersection with Stover Avenue, the defendant driver, Andres Laris, lost control of his vehicle in the westbound lane, skidded into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with the Carbajal’s vehicle.

As a result of the collision, Obed suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Kiara suffered a severe brain injury requiring emergency surgery, two broken legs, and a spinal injury. Mario sustained brain swelling and had to have an emergency spine fusion surgery. Kially suffered a broken arm and a broken foot that both required surgery. They all suffered emotional injuries by witnessing the death of their youngest brother and their other siblings being injured.

Since 2009,  there have been over 29 vehicle collisions, including three fatal collisions and several head-on collisions, at the bend on Arlington Avenue near the intersection with Stover Avenue. Over the last 14 years, the residents of the surrounding areas have called, emailed, and attended meetings to raise concerns about the safety of this stretch of roadway. In April 2015, the city created a plan to install a traffic light and high-friction surface treatments at the location but the project was not implemented prior to the collision that took Obed’s life.

Plaintiffs are seeking general damages relating to the significant loss suffered as a result of Obed’s death as well as past and future economic damages, past and future medical expenses, and past and future pain and suffering relating to the injuries suffered by Kially, Mario, and Kiara in the collision.

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