ROY Utah (ABC4 Utah) – A mother who lost her daughter when her car was rear-ended feels re-victimized.
20-year old Maddison “Madi” Haan and 19-year old Tyler Christianson, a passenger, were both killed instantly last June in Roy.
A 16-year old Marilee Gardner was charged with two counts of first degree murder. She is accused of driving over 90 mph when she allegedly rear-ended the vehicle Haan was driving. Gardner allegedly failed to stop after the crash and drove through two homes before coming to a stop. She is now being tried as an adult in Weber County.
“I think you have good moments and bad moments,” said Jocelyn Castillo in her first interview since the incident. “I don’t see that ever going away.
That night, Haan was with Christianson and were headed to their respective homes according to Castillo.
Meanwhile, Roy police received a call from Gardner’s parents that she had taken their vehicle without permission. Police spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop it but authorities claimed she fled. Police claimed they lost sight of the vehicle. A few minutes later, police learned of a traffic accident near 3500 West and 6000 South.
Castillo said her daughter and Christianson died instantly.
“It was shocking,” said Castillo. “I don’t even knew what to feel. I started screaming.”
Nearly ten months have passed since their deaths. Castillo’s front living room is filled with pictures of her daughter with family members and friends. Castillo said she still feels her presence.
“She was here, she lived with us,” Castillo said. “We haven’t been able to move on very well. It’s almost like it’s okay but you find comfort that you’re aware where she is at.”
But the past ten months have been filled with legal wrangling, insurance claims and debt.
“We’re still making payments on the (Madi’s) car,” said Castillo. 7:04 “It almost feels like we’re being victimized by them.”
She said the Victims Crime Reparation Fund in Weber County paid for her daughter’s funeral expenses and other trauma related expenses. But she said they’ve placed a lien on her bank account. She said whenever there is a settlement, she will be asked to repay the fund.
“I wasn’t told that when they met with me right after my daughter was called.
She now is concerned with making car payments on Madi’s car.
“We’ve been making those payments since the accident and no one seems to want to help us,” she said.
Castillo claimed Gardner’s insurance company refused to pay for the damages and filed a declaratory judgment. The move requires a judge to decide who is at fault.
She also said her own insurance can’t pay for the damages because the car is being held as evidence and the defense refuses to release the vehicle. Castillo said she was told the Gardner’s would have to provide for those costs in the form of restitution.
“In my mind, because of what I was told, I’m paying her (Gardner’s) restitution,” said Castillo. “And I have a problem with that.”
Traditionally, restitution is ordered by a judge once the case is resolved. But Castillo wasn’t aware that she would have to wait until the criminal case is resolved.
Good 4 Utah spoke with a personal injury attorney who claimed Castillo’s car issue should have been resolved immediately.
“It sounds to me that there were possibly some avenues that could have been taken earlier on,” said Rick Lundell.
He said an insurance company appraiser doesn’t need to physically see the vehicle. He said a photograph is acceptable to process a claim.
“It can be easily calculated,” Lundell said.
He said often times families involved in a traumatic incident like Castillo’s don’t know what to do and hiring an attorney can help them explain their rights. Castillo said she did hire an attorney but has not been happy with the results. Lundell said he doesn’t have the complete facts about her case but feels like Castillo didn’t have to wait like she is doing now.
“To continue making payments, that usually is resolved within 30-to-60 days after a motor vehicle collision,” Lundell said. “I find it unusual if I understand the facts.”
Good 4 Utah also made contact with Castillo’s credit union which holds the note to the car. A manager for the Horizon Credit Union in Clearfield said he was unaware of Castillo’s situation. He said the family needs to contact them about the payments and some possible options.