Honda is being sued by the widow and children of a man who died in a fiery three-vehicle crash in Orange in 2016 after his car was struck from behind by an alleged drunken driver.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Friday alleges Honda defectively designed the fuel tank and air bag system of the 2009 Accord in which 50-year-old Steven Okamura was driving, causing him to become trapped in the car as it exploded.
The suit also names as a defendant 34-year-old Stephanie Marie DeRosas of Orange, who was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI in the death of 50-year-old Steven Okamura. The plaintiffs are Okamura’s widow, Kimberly, and his children, Lauren, Jackie and Craig. The negligence/products liability suit seeks unspecified damages.
A Honda representative could not be immediately reached.
The crash took place at 8:42 p.m. May 12, 2016, at Chapman Avenue and Yorba Street. Orange police said previously that Okamura was heading west on Chapman Avenue, approaching Yorba Street when his car was struck from behind by DeRosas’ 1997 Toyota Camry.
Okamura’s car was pushed through the intersection and caught fire, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A third vehicle was stopped at the red light and ended up being sideswiped in the crash, according to police.