Claim alleges officer caused collision

A Huntington Beach woman has filed a claim against the city, the Police Department and an officer, saying she sustained several injuries when the officer failed to stop at a red light and collided with her.

Sunny Kang said that on Oct. 2 she was heading north on Newland Street when Officer William Brownlee allegedly failed to stop at the red light and slammed into her car as she entered the Atlanta Avenue intersection on a green light.

The Costa Mesa firm Morey & Upton, LLP filed the claim on Kang's behalf March 30.

Kang sustained "significant" injuries to her head, neck, shoulder, chest, back, left arm and hand, left leg, left knee and right hip, among other injuries, the claim states.

The claim did not specify a dollar amount, but said the jurisdiction rests with the Orange County Superior Court. A claim is usually the first step taken before a lawsuit is filed.

The city is reviewing the claim and no decision has been made on it, said spokeswoman Laurie Frymire.

Brownlee said in the police report that he saw a green light when he was at about 100 feet away from the intersection, then looked down to his Mobile Data Computer as he continued through. He was halfway through the intersection when he looked up and saw another vehicle directly ahead of him.

Kang said in the report that she entered the intersection because the light was green.

The California Highway Patrol officer who took the report said the accident happened because someone ran the red light, but said it's unclear who did it because of conflicting statements given by Brownlee and Kang.

"This case highlights the very real danger created by the use of Mobile Data Computers by police officers while they are driving a patrol car," Kang's attorney, John Upton, said in an email. "Notably, it is illegal for California drivers to text or surf the Web while driving."

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