LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – The estate of Le Yang, who died at age 7 on January 19, 2015, from injuries suffered in a January 14, 2013, drowning incident following a delayed emergency response, has been awarded more than $17 million against Candance Middleton, the former City of Little Rock 911 call taker who mishandled the 911 call.
On January 14, 2013, Jinglei Yi, and her then five-year-old son Le Yang, were driving to Le’s preschool when her SUV hit a patch of black ice near the intersection of Capitol Hill Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue/Rushmore Avenue in Little Rock. Jinglei’s SUV left the roadway and ended up in a pond just south of Capitol Hill Boulevard. Jinglei called 911 and was told by Candace Middleton, a City of Little Rock 911 Call Taker, that help was on the way. Middleton dispatched MEMS to the scene. When MEMS arrived at the scene, it was discovered that Middleton had failed to dispatch police and fire department water rescue. Approximately 55 minutes passed from the time Jinglei called 911 until Le was pulled from the submerged SUV. Jinglei died later that morning. Le lived for two years before dying from his drowning related injuries.
The $17.6 million judgment against Middleton was itemized and included $4 million for Le’s conscious pain and suffering prior to his death; $5 million for Le’s loss of life; $1.3 million for Le’s medical expenses attributable to his fatal injuries; $1 million for Le’s scars, disfigurement, and visible results of his injuries sustained prior to death; and $6.2 million for the mental anguish suffered and reasonably probable to be suffered in the future by Dayong Yang from the death of Le.
The City of Little Rock was dismissed from Yang’s lawsuit earlier this year based on immunity. An appeal is planned. James Bruce McMath, Charles D. Harrison, and Carter C. Stein are attorneys at McMath Woods P.A. and represent Dayong Yang, the father of Le Yang.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
The videos and audio below show the incident from the day of the accident.