Chang has filed a $270 million claim for wrongful death. For want of an $8 basic padlock, our world lost an extraordinary warrior for good, the lawsuit said. "She was very strong personality, really funny, really smart," said Ludovic Michaud, Essie Nakajjigo's husband. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Bay Area weather: After thunderstorms and hail, snow could be on the way this weekend, Family sues after newlywed is killed by swinging gate at Arches National Park, 1 killed when business jet encounters severe turbulence, Bay Area honeymooners say snorkel boat abandoned them off Maui coast, At least 26 killed in fiery train crash in Greece, If it was your child, when would you give up? Mother searches for 5-year-old son swept away in January floods, Online fundraiser emerges for Brentwood father who died while kayaking. Park staff told investigators that the gates own weight usually kept it in place, according to a report from the Grand County sheriffs office. The park which has over 2000 arches that Nakajjigo grew up in Uganda and at 17 was recognized by the United Nations for her work for women shed donated her college tuition money to start a nonprofit community health center that provided free reproductive health services to young women. Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox. Newlywed killed by swinging gate at Arches, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Bay Area weather: After thunderstorms and hail, snow could be on the way this weekend, Newlywed killed by swinging gate at Arches National Park, 1 killed when business jet encounters severe turbulence, Bay Area honeymooners say snorkel boat abandoned them off Maui coast, At least 26 killed in fiery train crash in Greece, If it was your child, when would you give up? Mother searches for 5-year-old son swept away in January floods, Online fundraiser emerges for Brentwood father who died while kayaking. "She's got quite a few projects started, and we need to make sure those projects survive after A lot of people just want to continue that because that's what she would have wanted from us.". The pair married in March of this year. Newlyweds Esther Essie Nakajjigo, 25, and Ludovic Ludo Michaud, 27, were driving out of the park during a camping trip on June 13 when strong winds blew the metal gate into the side of their car and penetrated it like a hot knife through butter, according to the administrative claim, which was filed in October. All Access Digital offer for just 99 cents! Michauds attorneys also said the federal government was aware of the dangers, citing a 1980 accident in which a man was impaled by an unsecured gate as he rode in the back of a pickup in Californias Stanislaus National Forest. She was decapitated. 7 CHILDREN INJURED IN NEW YORK BUS CRASH THAT DAMAGED HOME, The family's lawsuit claims when the national parks reopened in April 2020 after being shuttered due to COVID-19, rangers at the national park in Utah didn't secure the gate in place, which in effect "turned a metal pipe into a spear that went straight through the side of a car, decapitating and killing Esther Nakajjigo.". The show saw an audience of 6.3 million each week, and Nakajjigo was named Ugandas Young Personality of the Year,' the Denver Post reported in a 2020 article detailing Nakajjigos death. The trial over a wrong death lawsuit of a Ugandan activist has begun. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. Nakajjigo and her husband, Ludovic Michaud, were on vacation in eastern Utah, visiting national parks across the region several months after their wedding. Nakajjigo was born in Kampala, Uganda, and used her university tuition money to start a nonprofit community health care center when she was 17, providing free reproductive health services to girls and young women, according to a biography included in the claim. WebThe United States will pay family members of a Ugandan human rights activist who was killed in a 2020 accident at Arches National Park more than $10 million in damages, a federal Around 2 p.m., they were driving to get ice cream in the town of Moab when the gate swung into their path. A YOUNG activist hailed as a "future Princess Diana or Oprah" for her work was decapitated in a gruesome accident while she and her husband were hiking in Arches National Park. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. Telling stories that matter in a dynamic, evolving state. RELATED: Search of Aurora house in case of missing teen Lashaya Stine continues, RELATED: Head brewer at Denver Beer Co. dies in climbing accident, SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Local stories from 9NEWS. She and Michaud were married in March, and the two traveled to Arches to celebrate the one-year anniversary of when they first met on a dating app. A video of the crash shows Michaud was driving and Nakajjigo was In 2018, she participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship program at Drexel University, and she was also the recipient of the 2018 Luff Peace Fellowship at Watson Institute. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. Traffic may back up between the entrance station and US 191. Employees knew or should have known that winds strong enough to carve stone are certainly strong enough to blow an unrestrained metal pipe gate into the path of an oncoming vehicle, Chang wrote in the claim. ", "What he saw and experienced that day, I cannot even imagine," said Deborah Chang, an attorney representing Michaud and the Nakajjigo family. Shelly Bradbury is a breaking news reporter who joined The Denver Post in November 2019. Arches National Park is best known for its He is seeking a little more than $240 million in damages, while Nakajjigos parents are seeking $30 million. By Thomas Peipert, Associated Press The family of a womens rights activist from Uganda has filed a more than $270 million wrongful death and personal injury claim against the National Park Service after she was decapitated by an unsecured gate at Utahs Arches National Park. WebWhen I went to Arches National Park in 2021, I got turned around at the gate. The show saw an audience of 6.3 million each week, and Nakajjigo was named Ugandas Young Personality of the Year.. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. "We dont know with any level of certainty what her plans were," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nelson said. WebSALT LAKE CITY Ludovic Michaud, of Denver, was driving around the scenic red rock landscapes of Utah's Arches National Park on a windy spring day in 2020 when something While the Nakajjigo family had initially sought more in compensatory damages, their attorneys celebrated the judgment, saying that it isby farthe largest federal wrongful death verdict in Utah history. Nakajjigo, adds CBS, had grown up in poverty. RELATED: Denver Woman Decapitated By Gate: Family Files $270M Wrongful Death Claim Against Arches National Park. "For want of an $8 basic padlock, our world lost an extraordinary warrior for good.". Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, This photo was taken in the hours before a gate swung into the couple's car, killing Nakajjigo. 2023 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. 4 hospitalized in San Pedro beach shooting, Angelino Heights plagued by street racing, residents, SoCal man convicted of rape, molestation attacks, Weekend clouds make way for sunshine by midweek, Best athletic wear for kids joining baseball and, How to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies in style, Best smart home devices for older users, according, CA awaits key decisions from reparations task force, LAPD looking for autistic man last seen in downtown, Ducks assistant coach diagnosed with melanoma, LAPD searching for driver in fatal San Pedro hit-and-run, 1 killed amid turbulence event on business jet, Grizzlies Morant to miss Clippers, Lakers games, Festival of Whales returns to Dana Point Harbor, AlienCon attracting space enthusiasts to Pasadena, Folks near Jack Daniels facility see whiskey fungus. Last updated: August 16, 2022 Was this page helpful? Attorney Randi McGinn, representing Nakajjigo's family, on Monday described the death in gruesome detail. We just dont want this to ever happen again, Michaud said in an interview Thursday. In the courts ruling, Judge Jenkins awarded $9.5 million to Nakajjigos husband, $700,000 to her mother, and $350,000 to her father. WebDENVER The family of a Denver woman, who was killed when the entrance gate at Arches National Park swung into the passenger compartment of a rental car and decapitated her, "I had a ton of flashbacks. "The National Park Service has, in face, known for decades that an unsecured metal pipe gate creates an undetectable hazard and dangerous conditions," says the claim. Michaud is asking for more than $220 million in damages for wrongful death, and $20 million in damages for personal injury. Ryan studied neuroscience and has spent the last several years working as an operations manager in transportation logistics. There was less than a second between when the gate started to move and when it struck the car and killed Nakajjigo, according to the report. The claim says the gate was left open and unrestrained, causing major damage to the hood and the front passenger fender, door and window. "The trail up to Delicate Arch has reopened for use. A newlywed couples road trip to Arches National Park in Utah ended in tragedy when a metal gate at the park exit swung across the road and decapitated the 25-year-old woman as she rode in a car. This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Winter conditions make for slippery hiking; proceed with caution," the tweet said. Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting. According to the family's claim, three other people have died from similar accidents with unsecured gates over the past 32 years. She received numerous other humanitarian awards and created a popular reality television series aimed at empowering young mothers. The familys claim said that three other people in cars were killed by such gates on National Park Service property since 1988. He didn't know Nakajjigo had a massive following in her native Uganda. NBC reported that he was flown to Moab Regional Hospital. The National Park Service and Arches National Park are accused of not securing the gate, which was installed to swing in the wrong direction and was being held open by a flimsy metal tab that was worn down and rounded, according to the claim. The National Park Service did not respond to an email seeking comment, and the media relations voicemail inbox was full and could not accept messages. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. Ludovic Michaud and Essie Nakajjigo (credit: Ludovic Michaud), Denver Woman Decapitated By Gate: Family Files $270M Wrongful Death Claim Against Arches National Park. She's done more at the age of 25 than most people do in their entire lives," she said. Esther Nakajjigo died on June 13 after a metal gate swung into a car she and her husband were in and sliced het head off Credit: Handout. Arches National Park is best known for its pristine sandstone arches and its massive red Delicate Arch, which has featured in countless Instagram photos. Family photo. The family is hoping to use money from the case to continue Essie's projects. The United States government will pay more than $10 million to the family of a Ugandan human rights activist who was decapitated in a 2020 accident at Arches National Park in Utah.