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Relatives Suing City, Chrysler And Others After Fatal Flash Flood

(Photo Credit: Ian Smith/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Ian Smith/KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Surviving relatives of four people killed in flash flooding in Pittsburgh back in August of 2011 are suing several government and private entities claiming the deaths could have been prevented, attorneys for the two affected families announced Friday.

Mary Saflin, 72, of Oakmont, was swept away from her vehicle and down into a sewer conduit where she drowned, and Kimberly Griffith, 45, and her daughters became trapped in their minivan and also drowned when heavy rains caused a nine-foot wall of water to sweep down a low-lying section of road during afternoon rush hour traffic on Aug. 19, 2011.

An emotional Christopher Griffith told reporters his wife “was a saint” and said he misses the opportunity to see his daughters grow up.

Kimberly, Brenna, 12, and Mikaela, 8, were three of the victims of the Washington Blvd. flash flood.

“Mayor Ravenstahl promised support. I’ve never heard from the mayor’s office,” said Griffith.

Attorney Alan Perer, attorney for the victims says a lawsuit has been filed “to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Eight defendants are named including city county and state agencies as well as Chrysler, the manufacturer of the minivan they were in.

Perer says even though car manufacturers may claim that few cars windows and doors would operate under water, manufacturers should recognize that there are 400 deaths per year under water because windows and doors do not operate.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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