Families of teens who caused crash get $20K from victim’s insurance

(WSVN) - The families of a group of teens who caused a crash that left several of them dead are now getting money from the victim’s insurance company, even though the victim says he has not received any money from the accident that left him wheelchair-bound.

According to Fox 13, it began on Aug. 6 when a group of teens, in the midst of a crime spree, crashed into Ricky Melendez.

Melendez was waiting at a red light while on his way to work when one of the teens driving a stolen car crashed into him. The driver and two other teens died after the car rolled over several times and caught fire. The fourth teen was ejected from the car but survived.

The teens had reportedly spent the night on a crime spree in the area, and the group had long criminal history with over 100 arrests.

Melendez also survived the crash but now must use a wheelchair, and has mounting medical bills.

Despite a police report saying Melendez bears absolutely no fault in the crash, his insurance company, GEICO, paid $20,000 to the families of the teenagers while Melendez has gotten nothing, Fox 13 reports.

“It just ripped my heart out. Punch in the gut,” Melendez told the station.

This comes as Melendez’s medical bills pile up well over $50,000.

His attorney, Mark Roman, says he wants to know who filed the claim.

“I would love to look in the eyes of the family accepting the money and ask them if they can sleep at night,” Roman said.

An attorney unrelated to the case told Fox 13 this situation happens more often that you would think, and insurance companies will sometimes pay out settlements of so-called hush money to prevent larger claims down the road.

Melendez told the station that he doesn’t want to make a profit from the crash, but wants his bills paid and to get the word out that this sort of thing can and does happen.

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