County to settle Bouquet Canyon-crash lawsuit for $6M

Wearing her daughter's favorite cowboy boots, Cassandra Parks, mother of Elena Kramer displays a shadow box of sports memorabilia belonging to Kramer, 19, who was killed in a car crash on Bouquet Canyon Road. DAN WATSON

A yearslong legal battle for the family of Elena Lorraine Kramer, a 19-year-old killed in a 2016 single-car crash on Bouquet Canyon, is expected to end soon, according to next week’s Board of Supervisors agenda.

The death of Kramer, who’s also remembered in the city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Grove that’s dedicated to lives cut short by fatal collisions, inspired a public safety call and, ultimately, safety measures for the relatively remote stretch of road north of city limits in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

Kramer’s mother, Cassandra Parks, filed a lawsuit in February 2017 seeking damages, and L.A. County legal counsel is suggesting the approval of a settlement offer for Parks at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Due to the risks and uncertainties of litigation, a full and final settlement of the case in the amount of $6,000,000 is recommended,” according to the agenda item.

In May 2016, county officials announced the new traffic safety measures at a Leona Valley Town Council meeting in response to public calls for safety improvements. 

They began their safety improvements by lowering the speed limit on Bouquet.

“There is a reduction in the posted speed limit to 45 mph between mile marker 8.00 and mile marker 15.74,” Kerjon Lee told The Signal that year.

Public Works crews also put up “changeable message boards to inform the public of road conditions,” Lee said.

They also posted warning signs, “slippery when wet” signs, and signs that post a 30 mph speed limit in areas where water may flow across the road, he said earlier this year.

Public Works officials are also in the process of installing “recessed markers” in the roadway and guardrails at mile marker 8.84 and 9.95.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in May 2016 to lower the speed limit on a section of Bouquet Canyon Road, one of several new traffic safety measures planned following the crash.

The agenda item also noted more than $300,000 had been paid in legal fees to date.

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