School Board Member Demands Police Files On Daughter's Cop-Involved Crash Death

Nov 1, 2012

It was her daughter who died in the car crash. And now, Miami-Dade County School Board member Susie Castillo wants Hialeah police to release its  files on the case.

So far, no response from the department. It was a police detective who drove the other car.

Seeking Answers: Andrea Castillo, left, died after the collision with a Hialeah police car. Her mother, Susie Castillo, right, wants the department to release the files.
Credit Castillo family

Twenty-one-year-old Andrea Castillo was fatally injured Oct. 19 in a collision with an unmarked car driven by Detective Raul Somarriba. She was a passenger in a Jeep with her boyfriend, Marco Barrios, at the wheel but, as Christina Veiga writes in the Miami Herald, the circumstances are in dispute:

Hialeah police have blamed the cause of the deadly crash on 23-year-old Barrios, saying he ran a stop sign. Department spokesman Carl Zogby said the couple wasn’t wearing seatbelts and that the detective wasn’t speeding when his unmarked police car slammed into them.

Lawyers for the couple’s families — and now, Andrea Castillo’s mother — have disputed those claims.

Attorney John Leighton, who is representing Barrios, said that police have “intimidated” business owners with shops near the crash site into not sharing surveillance video from before the crash — tapes which Leighton says will show Barrios came to a stop like he was supposed to.

Susie Castillo said she saw bruises on her daughter’s body that suggest she was wearing a seatbelt.

Andrea Castillo had just turned 21 and was about to begin studying at Florida International University. Barrios, the boyfriend, is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital.