San Diego

Family of YouTube Star in Deadly McLaren Crash File Claims San Diego Police and County for Negligence

Trevor Heitmann, 18, was driving a McLaren on Aug. 23, 2018, on I-805 in San Diego when he crashed head on into Aileen Pizarro, 43, and her 12-year-old daughter, Aryana, killing them

What to Know

  • A McLaren was traveling southbound on the northbound I-805 HOV lane in excess of 100 miles per hour and slammed into an SUV.
  • Three people died and eight people were injured in the crash that happened near the Governor Drive exit at 4:30 p.m.
  • A family therapist who worked with abused children and her 12-year-old daughter were killed in the crash.

The family of a teenage YouTube star who crashed his McLaren into a mother and daughter on Interstate 805 in San Diego last summer, killing them, is taking legal action against the city for what they claim was negligence on the part of San Diego police.

On Aug. 23, 2018, Trevor Heitmann, 18, died when he crashed his McLaren head-on into another car driving in the HOV lane of Interstate 805. In the other car were Aileen Pizarro, 43, and her 12-year-old daughter, Aryana. They both died in the fiery collision.

An autopsy report released by officials in October 2018 concluded that Heitmann did not attempt to avoid the crash. Video of the impact examined by the California Highway Patrol showed Heitmann did not appear to swerve out of the path of the other vehicle, the report detailed.

[G] McLaren Crashes into Vehicles at High-Speed, Going Wrong-Way on I-805

CHP investigators believe Heitmann drove into traffic using the Carrol Canyon Road direct access ramp and estimated he had reached speeds over 100 mph before colliding with Pizarro's Hyundai SUV near Governor Drive.

There were no alcohol or drugs detected in Heitmann's system at the time of his death, and there was no history of depression or mental illness, according to last year's autopsy report.

NBC 7 has reported previously that San Diego police were warned of Heitmann's erratic behavior about nine hours before the deadly crash.

Police dispatch logs obtained by NBC 7 Investigates revealed a family friend of the driver told police on Aug. 23, 2018, that Heitmann was “screaming, paranoid and delusional” and had “threatened to harm his mom” at the Heitmann family home in Carmel Valley.

The caller told police Trevor Heitmann "needed to be evaluated and (possibly) placed on a 5150 (involuntary mental health) hold.

Twelve minutes later, police arrived at the Heitmann family home where they spoke with Trevor Heitmann’s father who told police his son would become violent if the officers tried to convince him to go to a mental health facility.

Trevor Heitmann’s father told police he’d take his son to the doctor later that day, and police left the home without talking to the YouTube star.

That same day, Trevor Heitmann's parents used their car to block the McLaren so their son could not drive it, the autopsy report said.

However, Heitmann rammed his father's car and managed to get the McLaren out of the driveway. At 4:30 p.m. that day, he crashed his car into the Pizarros.

NBC 7
Trevor Heitmann, 18, was killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 805 on August 23, 2018.

On Tuesday, six months after the deadly crash, attorneys for the Heitmann family – Robert Ball and Isaac Blumberg – confirmed the family had filed claims against the San Diego Police Department and the County of San Diego on the basis that police negligence was to blame.

Ball and Blumberg said three claims were filed by the family against the SDPD and three claims were filed against the county relative to the county’s Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) program.

A complaint filed with the County of San Diego asks for a grand jury investigation of the SDPD’s handling of the events leading up to the deadly crash.

The attorneys said the Heitmann family believes that if the police had handled the phone calls regarding Trevor Heitmann’s well-being appropriately that morning, the teen and the Pizarros would still be alive today.

Blumberg told NBC 7 police should have evaluated Trevor Heitmann and should have taken him to the hospital.

"The police neglected their responsibility," he added.

Heitmann operated a Youtube channel where he discussed virtual gun models, or "skins," for the popular online game, "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive." Over the course of four-and-a-half years, his videos racked up more than 200 million views.

NBC 7's Dave Summers spoke to the victims' son and brother.

NBC 7 reached out to the city for comment on these filing but, per protocol, the city said it does not comment on pending litigation.

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