Prianos file suit over death of daughter
For Mark Priano, the concept of justice is newly nebulous.
He’ll never have Kristina, his 15-year-old daughter, back, but he’s hoping that somehow he can give her life new meaning, maybe some new respect, in the court system.
He’s filed suit against the city of Chico and the Chico Police Department, alleging that the agencies are ultimately responsible for the car accident that took his daughter’s life.
The accident occurred Jan. 22, when police were chasing 15-year-old Jennifer Corron through the quiet, residential Vecino neighborhood. Corron’s mother had called police that afternoon to report that Corron had stolen her car from the family driveway, and police quickly found the RAV-4 that she was driving with two teenage friends.
A short chase ensued, as Corron led two police cruisers around the neighborhood, alternating between speeding through stop signs and slowing to a near stop several times. Investigators estimate that Corron was probably going about 45 mph when she blew through a stop sign at Palm and East Fifth Avenue and broadsided the Priano family minivan. Kristina suffered major head injuries and died six days later.
Corron pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, vehicle theft and evading a police officer causing injury. She is serving out a one-year term in Juvenile Hall and is also named as a defendant in the Priano lawsuit.
In an interview several months ago, Chico police Capt. Mike Maloney said that an internal investigation revealed that the officers involved followed appropriate department protocol while chasing Corron, but Priano said that’s little consolation.
“There were a lot of bad decisions made that night,” he said, obviously choosing his words carefully. “Our family is very disappointed in the Chico Police Department, in the actions taken that night.”
He admits that no one in his family will ever fully recover from the sudden loss of his daughter, that “each day is a real struggle.” Although even discussing her death is difficult, he perks up some when talking about her life, about any way, however small, he can keep her memory alive.
“There’s no justice in this, because nothing I can do will bring her back," he said. "But someone has to be held accountable."