By Anna Giles


SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — A Sacramento family will get $27 million after a deputy was found at fault for crashing into them and causing a lifelong injury.

Local attorneys say this is the largest personal injury settlement the county has ever made. The payout will help this family care for their 11-year-old daughter who now has permanent brain damage.

The crash happened back in July of 2017. Attorneys representing the family said it was an accident, but the deputy made a horrible mistake that almost took a life.

“It’s a shame because there are bruises on both sides that aren’t going to be resolved,” said attorney Robert Buccola, who represents the family alongside Jason Sigel.

Intense dash-camera video shows the moment Sacramento County Deputy Sean Steen smashed into the SUV that was carrying a mother, father and three children. Within seconds, the car is crumpled and a young girl’s life changed forever.

“She suffered a horrific brain injury. She was not expected to survive but she got excellent care at the UC [Davis] Med Center,” Buccola said.

READ: Mother Of 1-Year-Old Killed In San Joaquin County Deputy-Involved Crash Has Also Died

Videos shows this deputy was going more than 80 miles per hour. According to the collision report, he was responding to a call about a fight in progress with possible injuries but never turned on his sirens.

“I think in the heat of responding to this call, the deputy just didn’t get around to turning his lights on,” Sigel said.

The attorneys said this is in direct violation of extensive training deputies receive.

“There are no winners. It’s a sad situation because the officer was a very good officer. A good background, caring guy – made an error out there, made a mistake,” Buccola said.

At the time of the crash, this family was headed home after visiting relatives. The $27 million settlement from the county will help with the long-term care of their child with brain damage. The money will pay for nurses and cutting-edge physical therapy.

“Even though this money is going to go a long way to help her throughout her life, it still doesn’t get her back to normal,” Buccola said.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said the deputy involved in the crash was significantly disciplined and is no longer assigned to patrol.

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