The mother of the paparazzo who was hit and killed by a car while taking photos of Justin Bieber’s white Ferrari is reportedly suing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the State of California.
The incident, during which photographer Chris Guerra eventually died, took place on the evening of January 1, 2013.
The pop singer was not in the car at the time. Lil Twist, a rapper and friend of Bieber’s was behind the wheel of the Ferrari.
According to TMZ, Vickie Guerra — the mother of the 29-year-old paparazzo — claims a CHP officer abused his authority by ordering her son to unsafely cross a busy road.
Guerra — who had apparently followed the Ferrari all day was struck by a passing car on the 405 Freeway after crossing Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles to snap CHP deputies as they issued Lil Twist with a ticket for speeding.
In her lawsuit Ms. Guerra claims a CHP officer ordered her son to cross the Freeway after noticing him taking photos.
TMZ added the mother claims the officer instructed her son in a threatening manner while gesturing with a gun.
The website reports Ms. Guerra says Chris obeyed and was struck by a car traveling in excess of 40-50 mph.
Ms. Guerra claims her son was catapulted over the first car and immediately run over by a second car. As well as suing the CHP and the State of California for unspecified damages, the gossip site reports she is also suing the driver of the car that hit the paparazzo.
Guerra died in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center that same evening.
Bieber, then 18, issued a statement on January 2 through his record company, the Island Def Jam Music Group, saying:
“While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim. Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves.”
At the time Miley Cyrus also supported Justin’s calls for legislative changes and slammed what she called the “chaos” caused by paparazzi recklessness.