Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Valley Center Man's Death after Mexico Crash Prompts County Action
San Diego Union Tribune 19Oct99 P2
By Steve Perez: Signon San Diego Staff
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors
has directed its administrators to work with federal officials to
speed-up medical transfers involving U.S. Citizens traveling in
The Board was spurred by the recent death of LDS Church member Donald
Kraft, who died following a broken neck in an automobile accident in
near Rosarito Beach in Mexico. Because Kraft was blamed for the
accident, his transfer to a San Diego trauma center was delayed until
the family could raise $7,000 in cash for a bond.
Kraft, 44, was driving his pickup in Mexico and struck a car driven
by Mexican citizen Antonio Garcia, who is the State Attorney General
for Human Rights in Baja California. Garcia filed a criminal
complaint following the accident, leading Mexican officals to insist
that his family post $7,000 bond and pay for helicopter
transportation from Mexico to San Diego. The 18-hour delay
contributed to his death, says his family.
Kraft's father-in-law, George Armstrong, also expresses frustration
with the bureaucracy and with Garcia. "You would expect that the
Attorney General of Human Rights in Baja California would have a
little felling for the rights of others. Fourteen hours could have
been four and that would have made a difference."
The Board has told County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard to
report on his progress with federal and Mexican authorities in 60
days. The board also called on the Mexican government to put Garcia
in another position.