CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of an elderly Little Village woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Amazon, after one of their delivery drivers struck and killed Telesfora Escamilla three days before Christmas.
Five of Escamilla’s grown children sat with their attorney Thursday afternoon, describing their 84-year-old mother as an active woman who walked every day, shoveled snow for neighbors half her age, and went to church six days a week.
“My mom was worth something. She was a life that we all adored, and her community adored her, and the church family that she had can’t get over it still. Everybody wants justice for my mom,” said her daughter, Gloria.
Escamilla was walking near the intersection of 28th and Drake around 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2016, when she was struck by a Nissan delivery truck with an Amazon logo on it. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she died less than an hour later.
“She was the matriarch of our family, and kept us all together, and she’s not here anymore,” her daughter said.
The driver, 29-year-old Valdimar Gray, was charged with one count of operating an uninsured vehicle.
Attorney Louis Cairo said a witness saw the truck driver blow through three stop signs before hitting Escamilla, who would have turned 85 on Thursday.
“Amazon hires independent contractor companies, and they slap placards on the side of their vehicle that says Amazon; and then when there’s a fatality, Amazon says ‘it wasn’t our employee,’” he said.
Cairo said he has obtained video of a Good Samaritan performing CPR as she laid bleeding on the ground.
Amazon has said, “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time. Any accident that occurs is one too many and we will work with police and the delivery service provider as they investigate.”