Utah Park Sued For $270M After Human Rights Activist is Decapitated by Security Gate
Her husband was driving out of Arches National Park to get ice cream when a parking lot gate swung into the car.
The husband of a human rights activist decapitated at a Utah park is suing for $270million.
Ludovic Michaud was driving with his 25-year-old wife Esther Nakajjigo out of Arches National Park to get ice cream on June 13 when a metal gate swung into the car and cut her head off, according to a wrongful death administrative claim obtained by NBC News.
The claim alleges that had park employees used an $8 padlock to secure the gate from moving in the breeze, it could have avoided the victim being “needlessly decapitated”.
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Instead, “the end of the lance-like gate pierced the side of their car and penetrated it like a hot knife through butter.”
The gate narrowly avoided Michaud, who was left covered head to toe in his wife’s blood.
Nakajjigo was a women’s rights champion in her home country of Uganda; she founded a nonprofit community health center using her college tuition money, and created two reality TV shows centered around empowering women: “a young woman influencer destined to become our society’s future Princess Diana, Philanthropist Melinda Gates, or Oprah Winfrey.”
Having received numerous international accolades and awards, she came to the United States to further her education, where she met Michaud — a video streaming technology solution architect — via a dating app.
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They wed in a courthouse ceremony in March, and had plans to have a big ceremony in Uganda when it was safe to travel again.
Instead he was left with PTSD and flashbacks of watching his wife die right beside him.
“I felt completely meaningless” he told the broadcaster. “I couldn’t work properly for a couple of months. It’s still hard to concentrate, but I try to.”
Attorney Deborah Chang said the large monetary damages being sought by Nakajjigo’s widower and her parents reflect the pain and suffering, as well as the loss of her future income and fundraising abilities.
As part of the claim, Chang claims the federal government were aware of the danger park gates posed, as a camper was fatally impaled by one in California in 1980.
“There’s a newsletter that went out to all the parks and the National Park Service that warned of this decades ago,” she said. “They said you have to lock it or it’s going to impale a car, so everyone knows.”
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