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Jurors Award $8.6 Million to Families of Students Killed

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Posted at 6:54 AM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 06:54:00-04

MIAMI (AP) — Almost two years after two University of Miami doctoral students were killed while crossing a road, jurors in a civil trial awarded their families nearly $8.6 million.

In a verdict returned Wednesday, jurors put 95 percent of the blame on driver Milady Pequeno of Pinecrest. Five percent of the blame was placed on 27-year-old Ying Chen of Beijing and 26-year-old Hao Liu from a city in northern China, who were both killed.

The Miami Herald ( ) reports the students had just started their doctoral programs in October 2013 when Pequeno hit them.

Miami attorney Deborah Gander says the case was about "personal responsibility, accountability and the dangers of distracted driving." Gander says she hopes the verdict serves as a reminder that motorists should be mindful of pedestrians.

Pequeno testified that another vehicle blocked her view of the students.


Information from: The Miami Herald,