Children of deceased mother blame vehicle operators for fatal crash

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Oct 17, 2017

FRESNO — The children of a woman killed in a vehicle crash are suing vehicle owners and the driver, alleging negligence and wrongful death.

Justin Jones and Blake Jones filed a complaint Aug. 31 in Fresno County Superior Court against Cole Rickman, Joann McCain, Kathie Rickman and Brian Jones, alleging the defendants maintained and operated a Kia Optima vehicle in a dangerous manner that resulted to an untimely death of the plaintiffs' mother.

According to the complaint, on April 30, Sandra Anna Okutsu was killed when the defendants' vehicle, being driven by Cole Rickman, struck her vehicle west of Shepherd Avenue in Fresno County.  

As a result, the suit says, Okutsu's children, Justin and Blake Jones, suffered the sudden loss of their mother and funeral- and burial-related expenses. 

The plaintiffs allege the defendants allowed Cole Rickman to operate the vehicle in a dangerous manner and that he was likely to operate it at a high speed and that Rickman regularly used marijuana before operating a vehicle.

Justin and Blake Jones seek trial by jury, compensatory damages greater than $25,000, plus costs of suit and all other fair, just and equitable relief. They are represented by attorneys Warren R. Paboojian and Nolan C. Kane of Baradat & Paboojian Inc. in Fresno.

Fresno County Superior Court case number 17CECG03006

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