The parents of a slain USC student filed a lawsuit against the University Wednesday, charging USC with the inadequate training of a Department of Public Safety officer who is currently charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Kelsey Dresser, a first-year USC graduate student in the Rossier School of Education, who killed in a crash with DPS officer Miguel Guerra on Dec. 3, 2015. Guerra was allegedly going nearly three times the speed limit at 69 mph when he smashed into the side of Dresser’s car as she was turning onto the USC campus. She died from head injuries in the hospital the following day.
The officer had been working consecutive graveyard shifts and his reaction time may have been impeded by the lack of sleep, according to the Los Angeles Times. Two empty energy drinks were found in his car.
Michael and Jill Dresser, the student’s parents, also sued Miguel Guerra for negligence and speeding. Los Angeles City Prosecutors charged Guerra with vehicular manslaughter in July.
Dresser, who graduated from University of California Santa Barbara in 2014 with a degree in psychology, worked as a research assistant at an autism center and strove to promote mental health awareness issues. She was beginning her graduate studies in marriage and family therapy.
A representative from DPS would not comment on ongoing litigation, but redirected people to a post on the DPS website expressing condolences to the victim’s family.
“Our officers dedicate themselves to protecting our students, staff, faculty and everyone who visits the University,” the statement said. “This is an unprecedented and heartbreaking event for our department. We offer our deepest condolences to Kelsey’s family, friends, classmates and faculty.”