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For week ended October 24, 1999 Posted 24 Oct 1999

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LDS Valley Center Man's Death after Mexico Crash Prompts County Action

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 Mexico.

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.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information