Businessman drops plans to sue parents of boy he killed

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The Independent Online

A Spanish businessman has withdrawn his plans to sue the parents of a teenager he ran over and killed while at the wheel of a luxury car.

Tomas Delgado had demanded damages of €20,000 (£14,850), from the family of 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo Trinidad, claiming the fatal crash damaged his Audi A8.

But as the case was due to go to court yesterday, Mr Delgado dropped his legal claim after the publicity sparked national outrage in Spain, where many felt sympathy for the parents of Iriondo.

They had been due to come face-to-face with Mr Delgado in court but instead of being victims, they would have been defendants.

Hundreds who staged a demonstration outside the courthouse in Haro, in northern Spain, in support of the Iriondo family, broke into applause when news came the case would not go ahead.

Antonio Iriondo Trinidad, the dead boy's father, said he was pleased, but added this meant the family would now sue Mr Delgado. "This is good news but it is just the beginning," he said.

Iriondo was killed when he was riding his bicycle home from a campsite in 2004. His family was paid €33,000 (£24,524) in compensation by Mr Delgado's insurers. Mr Delgado later launched the case claiming Iriondo was at fault by riding without a reflective jacket.

Mr Delgado became a hate figure in Spain after he coolly told a television station: "It's the only way I can recover the costs of the damage to my car and the rental truck which took it away." An investigation after the crash found both parties were at fault.

A traffic report said Mr Delgado was travelling at 100kph (62mph) in a 90kph zone while the teenager had not worn reflective clothing while riding his bicycle.

After the crash, Iriondo's parents were given just three days to launch legal action but were too distraught to take any. Mr Delgado did not face criminal charges, but now a prosecutor is to examine whether any can be brought.

In a separate case, a Madrid taxi driver won €2,500 (£1,858) from the parents of a girl who he knocked down and killed.

Last year, the parents of a girl who killed herself by throwing herself out of a window had to pay compensation of €4,000 (£2,950) to the owner of a car on which their daughter landed.

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