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Man who saw wife beheaded in accident suing over ‘worst thing I hope I ever see’
June 16, 2021
A man who watched his young wife behead in a horror holiday accident is suing over the "worst thing I hope I will ever see".
Newlywed Esther Nakajjigo, 25, died at Arches National Park in Utah, USA, when she was struck and killed by a metal pole attached to a traffic control gate.
Ms Nakajjigo, from Uganda, and her husband Ludo Michaud, 26, were driving out of the car park when wind caught the unlatched gate. It caused the metal pole to slice through the side of their car and hit tragic Ms Nakajjigo in the head and neck.
The widower and Ms Nakajjigo's family have now filed a lawsuit in a US court accusing the National Park Service of negligence over the June 2020 incident, Fox 13 reports.
Her husband said his wife's death was the "worst thing I hope I will ever see" with the couple only having been married for three months.
The pair lived in Denver, Colorado and had been on a hike. They had lunch before driving out of the park.
Frenchman Mr Michaud said: "I really wanted to show her Arches.
"I know all the parks around Moab … It’s one of my favourite places in the US, if not my favourite place."
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"I went from the best time of my life to the worst, in one second. I turned my head and saw what I wish I didn't see.
"She was the woman I was trying to spend my life with. Everything was perfect.
The sum they are seeking has not been disclosed, but a previous claim filed by the family against the National Park Service – which is the step before a lawsuit can be filed – asked for around £191 million.
The family says under federal park rules, similar gates should be secured, but the gate that struck Ms Nakajjigo had been unlatched for weeks, Fox 13 reports.
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The family’s lawyer Deborah Chang said the gate struck the car so suddenly – and was so well blended into the surrounding landscape – the honeymooning couple had no chance of avoiding it.
She described the part of the gate that struck Ms Nakajjigo as being like a “metal spear or a lance” and hit the car in “literally a split second”.
Ms Chang said: "You wouldn't be able to detect it or see it.
"It's be like me pointing a piece of paper to you on its most narrow side. You wouldn't be able to detect it or see it."