Arizona councilwoman sues her own city over mother’s death

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A Lake Havasu City Council member has filed a wrongful death claim against the city involving the death of her mother in a vehicle-pedestrian traffic accident. She and her sister are seeking $2.5 million each for their grief, pain and suffering.

Councilwoman Crystal Alger and her sister Holly Alger seek $5 million for the July 2013, death of Sandra Alger, 57.

Alger was fatally injured when her bicycle was struck by a 1998 Corsica about 3:47 a.m. She had been pedaling through a construction zone along McCulloch Boulevard near Bear Drive at the time.

The driver of the vehicle, Jennifer Manley, 22, is serving a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to manslaughter and drunken driving.

The claim that Phoenix lawyer Raymond Norris filed on behalf of the Algers on Jan. 23 asserts that the accident was preventable and that the city was negligent for failing to provide a safe environment through the construction zone. Claimants allege the area was poorly lit, that lane striping was covered over by tar, and that traffic dividers and reflectors were insufficient.

“Lake Havasu City failed to provide an appropriate buffer zone on the roadway in order to provide safe passage for pedestrians, bicyclists and stalled cars,” the claim stated. It invited the city to participate in settlement mediation.

City Risk Manager Shirlee Palbicki said the claim is still being evaluated and the matter has not been discussed yet at the council level.