A man who was injured in a high-speed crash after being chased by deputies following a home robbery last year has filed a claim demanding $500,000 from Pima County.
Cory Rondell Rivers, 35, who is awaiting trial in Pima County jail, says he suffered a fractured back, amnesia, a neck injury and psychological trauma when the white Jeep Cherokee he was riding in crashed into an urgent-care facility.
Caron Ramell Rivers, 30, his brother, and Nina Roxanne Smith, 21, died in the crash on Tucson’s southwest side.
Irma Coronado, 33, was also taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. She has not been charged with any crimes related to the March 20, 2012, incident.
The incident started about 2 a.m. when three women told deputies they were followed home and robbed by people who first approached them at Casino del Sol, officials said.
Deputies spotted a white Jeep Cherokee matching the description given by the victims.
The driver refused to stop, speeding off east on West Valencia Road, and at one point someone in the car threw a gun out the window, hitting a patrol car.
The car continued onto northbound Interstate 19, where the driver lost control on the Ajo Way exit, speeding over a median and smashing into the urgent- care facility in the shopping center at the intersection, officials said.
Rivers said in his claim that he believes the county is responsible for his injuries.
“As a result of such negligence, breach of duty and violation of departmental policy. The vehicle crashing killing two individuals and seriously injuring two individuals, which the claimant was one,” Rivers wrote in his claim against the county.
Rivers, who has been indicted on 13 charges including first-degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault, is being held in the Pima County jail, where officials said he was not eligible to accept a telephone call to be interviewed.
His trial has been delayed several times this year in order to conduct a mental competency exam.
Rivers’ claim is a formal precursor to a lawsuit.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department had no immediate reaction to Rivers’ filing.