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Jan. 7 crash victim faults city, sues
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The Ceres City Council has rejected a claim for damages stemming from a Jan. 7 crash at the AM/PM driveway at Mitchell and Service roads on Jan. 7.

The claim, filed by Michael Dizney, 69, asserts that the accident was created by unsafe roadway designs. He now has 45 days in which to take legal action against the city.

Fresno attorney Lesya N. Dull said the city creates a "dangerous condition by allowing the exit from the parking lot to have a left turn onto southbound Mitchell Road in the way of fast-moving traffic." The claim asserts the city also fails to warn the public about the condition. Police, however, note that the accident involved an elderly driver making an unsafe movement in the dark.

The Coulterville man sustained serious injuries when he was ejected from his car in the 6:54 p.m. crash involving a Merced County Sheriff's canine vehicle. Dizney was found lying in the roadway with fractured ribs, a broken right leg and broken nose, bruises and cuts.

Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Deniz and canine Tyson escaped serious injury.

An investigation noted that Dizney was exiting the AM/PM parking lot area in his 2007 Chevy Aveo onto southbound Mitchell Road when he cut in front of the path of the northbound sheriff's patrol car in the fast lane. Deputy Deniz tried to avert the crash by making a hard turn to the left. Then Ceres Police Sgt. Chris Perry said at the time of the crash that "it seemed like he (Dizney) was darting across the road more diagonal and when these two cars collided it was darn-near a head-on collision."

The patrol car ended up disabled in the field opposite Farmer Boys restaurant some 50 yards from the road. Dizney's car apparently spun around with the driver's body bowing out the door, which contributed to his being ejected through the driver's side window.

In addition to the physical injuries, the claim suggests that Candice Dizney "suffered the loss of her husband's love, society, companionship, sexual relations and other services he normally performed for her."