CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) – A man accused of killing a 20-year-old woman, among four other victims, during a wrong-way wreck in Northwest Miami=Dade is being sued by her family.
On Thursday, the family spoke up publicly for the first time to announce they were suing 30-year-old Maiky Simeon, who they said killed Briana Pacalagua during the tragic crash.
Prosecutors said Simeon killed Pacalagua as well as four of her friends when he drove the wrong way on the Palmetto Expressway back on Aug. 20, colliding head-on into the car containing the group of friends.
A growing memorial at the site of the crash is a source of both pain and comfort for the people who knew and loved this group of friends.
Lawyers for Pacalagua’s family said while the criminal case generates a great deal of evidence, like the recently released surveillance video of the crash, a civil case would hold Simeon responsible, which would make him testify.
“In a criminal case, a defendant cannot be forced to testify,” said Robert Boyers with Boyers Law Group. “In the civil case, we expect to get his testimony both in deposition and in trial, and we intend to find out exactly what he was doing every second of the day leading up to the moment of this horrific crash.”
The family is being represented by Boyers.
Right now, the lawsuit says the family is seeking damages “in excess of $30,000.” In a statement, Boyers explains this is “in order to comply with a technical pleading requirement, in that we must allege this for Circuit Court to have jurisdiction over the case. We will, of course, be seeking very substantial damages in the multiple millions from a jury.”
Pacalagua’s mother, Angela Pacalagua, said no amount of money will ease her pain, but holding Simeon accountable for the pain he caused will.
“She was the world to me. I have a special relationship with her. She was my princess, and she was a warrior,” Angela said. “Her character, the way that she was going through life, my daughter’s life was taken away in an instant, but she had so many plans, she had so many things in her mind.”
Plans that would never come to fruition.
“She wanted to continue studying,” said her mother. “She was working. She had many jobs. She was working since she was 16. She was a very hard worker. That’s another thing, she was working full-time at a lawyer’s office and working part-time at walk-ins, as well, and when she started working at the lawyer’s office she got interested in that career.”
Pacalagua’s family is still devastated and still coming to grips with the loss of their daughter.
Her father, John Pacalagua, was only able to get out a few words before the tears took over.
“She was daddy’s little girl, and now she’s daddy’s little angel,” he said.
Prosecutors said Simeon’s blood alcohol was nearly double the legal limit.
Simeon is being held without bond, charged with five counts of vehicular manslaughter and five counts of DUI manslaughter.
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