weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Family of 13-year-old killed near Mannion Middle School files lawsuit

The family of a 13-year-old boy who died last year after being struck by a reckless driver near Mannion Middle School in Henderson filed a lawsuit earlier this month seeking damages.

The estate of Rex Patchett — as well as his parents Jason and Samantha Patchett — filed a complaint Nov. 7 in District Court against driver Jose Marmolejo, three passengers in his car, the Clark County School District and the city of Henderson.

Attorneys for the Patchett family declined a request for comment Friday. The city of Henderson and the Clark County School District said they do not comment on pending litigation.

Lawsuit alleges negligence

Rex Patchett was on a sidewalk in March 2022 on East Paradise Hills Drive when he was struck by a vehicle. He died at the scene.

Marmolejo, who pleaded guilty last year to a felony charge of reckless driving, was sentenced in January to six years in prison and could be out on parole after two years.

He was accused of driving more than 90 miles per hour before losing control of his vehicle.

Witnesses observed Marmolejo, who was 21 at the time, driving a vehicle recklessly for several minutes, according to court documents.

Marmolejo was reported “speeding and driving full circles” around a roundabout at East Paradise Hills Drive and Greenway Road, according to the complaint.

The vehicle was traveling at “excess speed” on East Paradise Hills Drive until it hit a “significant hump in the roadway” at Noble Isle Street, causing Marmolejo to lose control of his vehicle, the complaint says.

The car entered the sidewalk and struck Rex, “causing his body to become airborne,” according to the complaint.

Due to Marmolejo’s negligence, Rex suffered critical injuries that caused his death, the complaint says.

Court documents list three passengers who were in the car at the time of the crash: Gabrielle Young, Isaiah Zamarripa and Isaiah Smyth.

The lawsuit alleges the passengers “urged and/or encouraged” Marmolejo to drive the vehicle in a “dangerous, negligent, and/or reckless manner.”

The city of Henderson’s “negligent maintenance of a public access road and failure to warn potential drivers of a known hazardous condition” resulted in Rex’s death, the complaint alleges, while the Clark County School District “failed to correct the dangerous condition and failed to warn families and students of a previously known hazard that directly placed visitors of its property at risk.”

In July, a ceremonial signing was held at Henderson City Hall for a new law passed by the state Legislature called “Rex’s Law” — a bill championed by Rex’s family.

It increases the possible sentences for those found guilty of reckless driving that results in serious injury or death.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com. Follow @julieswootton on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.