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Family of UC Santa Cruz Student Who Died in Bicycle Accident Works to Hold University Accountable

The family of Adrian Burgueño, who was killed while riding his bicycle on the University of California Santa Cruz’s campus in 2011, is seeking to hold the university accountable for what they allege are dangerous bike path conditions. Attorneys Paul Matiasic and Scott Johnson, of The Matiasic Firm, stated at a bicycle safety rally held in Burgueño’s honor that the lawsuit alleges that UC Santa Cruz knew that the bike path on which Burgueño was killed was unsafe, yet they failed to take any action to address and fix the issue.

In fact, over the years preceding Burgueño’s death, there were numerous bicycle accidents on the same section of the bike path as his accident, but the university allegedly failed to take any meaningful measures to counteract the problem. The number of accidents in this area is disproportionate to other bike paths on campus and in the area, with 24 accidents occurring in just 4 ½ years, 17 of which resulted in emergency medical care and 2 that resulted in death.

According to Burgueño’s sister, Melissa Burgueño, her brother was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. She insists that Burgueño was an experienced cyclist who took every possible precaution to keep himself safe.

Said Attorney Matiasic, “In the particular area where Adrian was injured and killed, he was negotiating a turn that has a very strict radius. We’re alleging by way of the lawsuit that the university knew that the bike path was in a dangerous condition, but failed to take the appropriate measures to remedy the situation.”

Attorney Matiasic is helping Burgueño’s family take action against the university as well as the helmet company.

Melissa Burgueño is fighting not only for justice on her brother’s behalf but also for the safety of other bicyclists in the area.

She stated that her hope is that, we don’t… see this repeat and have another family go through a painful loss.

She is hopeful that the university will take actions to make the bike path safer for cyclists.

A spokesperson for UC Santa Cruz, Jim Burns, stated his regret that the tragedy of Burgueño’s death occurred and mentioned warning signs that had been posted regarding excessive speeds and bicycling in that area at night or during times of low visibility. However, he did not provide a comment on the wrongful death lawsuit.

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