PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The father of a Salem teen who died in a 2020 crash is suing the city of Salem, saying it could have done more to make its road signs more visible and should have placed more signs along the roadway where his daughter was killed. 

Douglass Schumann, father of Sara Elizabeth Schumann, filed the complaint Thursday and is asking for $2.8 million in damages. 

According to the Salem Police Department, Sara Schumann, 17, was the passenger in a Subaru Impreza being driven by 19-year-old Tristan Isaac Goodwin, of Newberg on August 7, 2020. At 10 p.m. that day, Goodwin was speeding while driving west on Mildred Lane Southeast. Police say he didn’t stop at a stop sign at Liberty Road South and collided with a driver traveling southbound in a Saturn Ion. 

Sara Schumann died at the scene. 

The driver and the passenger in the Saturn were critically injured in the crash, but survived. 

According to KOIN News’ partner Pamplin Media, Goodwin pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to three years in prison on September 4, 2021.

In the lawsuit Douglas Schumann filed Thursday, he says Goodwin isn’t the only one to blame for the crash and that the city of Salem is partially responsible. 

The lawsuit states that Goodwin didn’t slow, stop or maneuver away before he crossed into the path of the Saturn Ion because he did not receive adequate warnings by traffic control devices on his approach to Liberty Road South. It also says he was unable to see the approaching vehicle. 

“If the City of Salem had enforced their rules and caused property owners to maintain their vegetation near the roadways, and if the City of Salem had followed through with their duties to cut down vegetation along the roadways, Mr. Goodwin and the driver of the other vehicle heading southbound on Liberty Rd. SE (sic) would not have had an obstructed view,” the lawsuit states. 

The city of Salem is also accused of not placing correct signage on the roads. The lawsuit says the city should have posted the correct speed on Mildred Lane Southeast and should have provided curve ahead, road ahead, crosswalk ahead and stop sign ahead signs, more lighting on the road, and a flashing light or traffic signal at the intersection. 

The lawsuit argues that if these signs and features had been in place, then “Mr. Goodwin would have had more warning and been able to change his behavior as he approached the intersection.” 

Douglas Schumann says he and family members suffered as a result of the city’s negligence and are therefore requesting $2.8 million in damages. 

The city of Salem sent the following remarks to KOIN 6 News in response to the lawsuit: 

“The City takes any loss of life very seriously and of course our deepest sympathies go out to all of those that were involved in that tragedy. Due to the fact that this is ongoing litigation, we cannot comment on the details of the incident or the complaint.