69-year-old dies after CHP crash, family believes CHP is not being honest about circumstances

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A Fresno family wants answers from the California Highway Patrol after losing their loved one in an accident involving an officer.

A car being driven by 69-year-old Fred Ricardo was rammed by a CHP patrol car two weeks ago at the intersection of Kearney Boulevard and Brawley Avenue. Ricardo died after spending three days in the hospital.

His family has retained a lawyer, believing CHP hasn’t been entirely honest about the accident.

Ricardo is described to be the kind of man who always came through for friends and family — whether it be a broken pipe, or fixing something on the roof.

Family and friends of Fred Ricardo held a vigil to honor him Thursday morning.

While laughing, his son Dominic Ricardo and his brother David Ricardo recalled a time he fell through the roof during repairs.

Fred Ricardo’s selflessness is a quality Dominic Ricardo admired the most.

“My father would work odd jobs, even after being retired, to make sure that we would have money in our pockets,” Dominic Ricardo said. “So my son and I could go out and buy whatever we needed.”

Dominic Ricardo still has many questions about the day of his father’s accident. In a press release, CHP said officer Bradley Bowman was driving north on Brawley Avenue toward Kearney Boulevard at an unknown speed around 2 p.m. on Oct. 22. At the time, Fred Ricardo was approaching the intersection on Kearney Boulevard in his truck and trailer.

At that intersection, Brawley Avenue has stop signs while Kearney Boulevard doesn’t. For whatever reason, Bradley ran the stop sign on Brawley and drove directly into Fred Ricardo, according to the press release.

The Ricardo family has been trying to get answers ever since. Dominic Ricardo said he was initially informed Bradley was chasing a suspect at the time, but now there’s no mention of that. Also, he said his father was sent to the hospital as a John Doe, despite having his wallet with proper identification inside.

“I have an attorney now. We want honesty, we want transparency, we want the truth,” Dominic Ricardo said. “Above all, we want justice because that’s what America is really based on.”

He’ll never forget what happened to his father, but Dominic Ricardo does forgive Bradley. He said his father would’ve done the same.

“With all my mistakes, he was always there for me,” Dominic Ricardo said, holding back tears. “He always stuck there with me.”

A GoFundMe has been created to help with funeral expenses.

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