Don Kraft

 September 7, 1999 - From Rick Roberts' Web Site

On Labor day Rick Roberts learned from David Kraft that his brother Don Kraft had died. A coroners report is due out later this week. Don Kraft was involved in a recent car crash while on vacation with his family in Mexico.

Rick Roberts asked David Kraft if the family wanted to continue with the rally and benefit for the Kraft family. Without hesitation David Kraft said that due to Melody Kraft now being a widow with three young boys that the support from the San Diego community is now more necessary than ever. David Kraft also extends his thanks to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who have shown their support to his family and in making a change for all US citizens who travel to Mexico.

Rick Roberts says "We are all saddened by the passing of Don and will not let his death be in vain."


Man hurt in Baja crash dies

Posted by VCT 8:30 PM 9/6/99

SAN DIEGO -- A man who was delayed medical treatment in San Diego following a car crash in Mexico has died, his family reported.

Antonio Garcia Sanchez, Baja California's attorney for human rights, was driving the car Don Kraft collided with. He insists he was not responsible for delaying Kraft's return to the U.S.

Don Kraft, 44, suffered a broken neck but had apparently been making a recovery. He was stable enough to be moved from Mercy Hospital, where he was first taken upon his return to the United States, to Kaiser Permanente.

But Kraft passed away Monday morning. His brother, David, says he hopes officials on both sides of the border learn from the tragedy. "I'm not a doctor, I'm not a lawyer," David Kraft said. "All I can say is, when there's a human life that lays for 18 hours, that needs trauma care - immediate trauma care - for whatever reason, it's a tragedy."

Kraft was pulling onto the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road August 24 when he collided with a car driven by Antonio Garcia Sanchez, a government official in charge of human rights and citizen protection in Baja California. A passenger in Garcia's car was also hurt.

Mexican officials would not allow Kraft to leave until his family had posted a bond. The result was an 18-hour delay before he crossed the border.

Kraft's family has accused Garcia of causing the delay, saying he was essentially asking for a bribe before letting Kraft cross the border.

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego said authorities in Baja California simply followed the law because Kraft was at fault in the accident.

Garcia's passenger filed a complaint, which required that a bond be posted.

Don Kraft is survived by his wife, Melody, and three sons, ages 6 to 13.

David Kraft says he will continue what he is calling a "crusade for human rights."


Update - September 7, 1999

Man hurt in Mexico crash dies in hospital

Victim's family blames delays in treatment

By Leonel Sanchez and Sandra Dibble

September 7, 1999

SAN DIEGO -- Donald Kraft, who was denied immediate transportation to a San Diego trauma center after he was critically injured in a car accident in Mexico two weeks ago, died yesterday. Kraft, of Valley Center, died at 11:30 a.m. at Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Diego of complications stemming from head injuries he suffered in the Aug. 24 accident on the Tijuana-to-Ensenada toll road.

His treatment by Mexican authorities has drawn strong criticism from his family and supporters because of the 18-hour delay that preceded his transportation to a San Diego emergency room. They also have been critical of Mexico's investigation of the case.