San Diego

Family of Sailor Who Fatally Hit Alleged Pothole Sues City

The family of a 23-year-old U.S. Navy sailor killed in a motorcycle crash is suing the City of San Diego, claiming a pothole caused his death.

The crash happened on March 17, 2014 on Harbor Drive near 28th Street, when Jamie Scott Powell's motorcycle hit a road depression near the railroad tracks.

Powell was on his way to work at the shipyard at the time of the crash.

His motorcycle hit a pothole and launched him into oncoming traffic, according to court documents.

He was run over by an SUV and pronounced dead at the hospital.

The family believes the City of San Diego should have known the road in front of the shipyard was so dangerous and riddled with potholes that it was potentially deadly for bicyclists and motorcyclists, court records show.

In the suit, the family claims the city should have warned people of the road condition. News of the lawsuit was first reported by The Reader.

In pre-trial hearings, both sides discussed whether the city was required to put up a sign regarding those potholes. 

A deputy city attorney argued the city did not need a sign; city crews blame the problems on the rails running through the area.

The city also is arguing Powell was speeding at the time of the crash. 

A spokesman for the City Attorney's office said it remains unclear if Powell hit the railroad tracks instead of a pothole. 

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