Desiree was killed in a police pursuit through a school zone. The pursuit occurred at the end of a school day, right as hundreds of students were leaving the school to go home. For more of the story, click here.
A May 2003 letter from Ron and Adell Guzman
of Stockton, California
... As you can probably relate, trying to cope with this
kind of tragedy is extremely difficult. Though Desiree's "accident" happened more than two years
ago, we still find her story uneasy to talk about.Even calling it an "accident" evokes a negative reaction of
the way she died (i.e. police pursuit).
the course of our wrongful death lawsuit against the Stockton Unified
School District Police, we learned about police pursuits and the
associated immunity that applies to law enforcement. It was a very unpleasant learning experience, even more so when
the judge threw out our case.What
appeared initially like a very challengeable case of negligence only
produced a decision based on "immunity." As far as we were concerned, the judge's decision added insult
An appeal is an option we are considering.Unfortunately, the high expense of retaining an appellate
attorney is unavoidable.However,
raising money through fundraising events is an alternative that may be
feasible to us. Either way, we face an uphill battle.
our case weaves its way through the system, we'll keep you up to date
on any new, significant developments.No matter what the outcome, we will absolutely continue to refer
to Kristie's Bill and the important issues it address.
Candy Priano's comment:
On September 17, 2003, I had the privilege of meeting Desiree's family. I will never forget and will always remember the lost look in Ron Guzman's eyes. Ron and his family's pain was so evident because again, a high-speed chase in school zone should never be acceptable and the pursuit created more danger to the public than the actions of the person who was being pursued. Four innocent people were killed in this chase and it never received national attention from the media!
I learned that Desiree, who was just 14, was best friends with Ashley Martinez, who was also killed in this violent crash. Both girls were good students with dreams of going to college. Ashley's mother, Bernice was picking up the girls from school. Also in the car was Ashley's older sister, Christina. More on Bernice, Christina and Ashley, right here.