Spanish Motorist Drops Lawsuit Against Parents of Teen He Fatally Struck

January 31, 2008

A motorist who struck and killed a 17-year-old cyclist in northern Spain — and then sued the boy’s parents over the damage to his Audi — has dropped the lawsuit, the family said.

Businessman Tomas Delgado collided with the teen, Enaitz Iriondo, in August 2004, killing him instantly.

In late 2006, Delgado — whose insurance company paid Iriondo’s parents $48,000 in compensation for their son’s life — filed a lawsuit seeking nearly $30,000 for his wrecked Audi A8 and car rental costs.

“It’s the only way I have to claim my money back,” Delgado told reporters earlier this week.

News that Delgado was suing the family had become a top news item and the subject was debated exhaustively this week on radio and TV chat shows.

On Wednesday, Delgado’s lawyer announced that his client decided to ditch the case because of media pressure, Spanish National Radio reported. He spoke outside the court in the small town of Haro in northern Spain to a crowd of several hundred people.

“We’re very happy,” said Anton Iriondo, father of the cyclist.
Delgado had been driving about 100 mph when he hit Iriondo, a 2004 traffic report on the accident said.

But a regional court ruled both parties at fault and closed the case after finding that Iriondo was not wearing reflective clothing or a helmet, and noting that the sun had set when he crossed into the path of Delgado’s car from a side road.

EU statistics show Spain had 113 recorded traffic fatalities per million inhabitants in 2004. The average for the bloc, then comprised of 25 member nations, was 95. In 2006, 3,016 people died on Spain’s roads.

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