Paxton family lawyers plan to expand wrongful death lawsuit after recent arrest

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Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The arrest of Joshua Figueroa as the driver in the crash that killed 18-year-old Maggie Paxton is only the first step in the legal process. That’s according to the attorney representing the Paxton family in their complaint for wrongful death.

31-year-old Figueroa was arrested Thursday by Gainesville Police after detectives got a search warrant to go through his cell phone. A civil complaint for wrongful death was filed in February against Figueroa’s father, Miguel, as he is listed as the owner of the BMW that struck maggie in December of 2020.

RELATED STORY: Breaking: GPD arrests suspected hit and run driver accused of killing UF student Maggie Paxton

The Paxton family’s attorney, Andy Yaffa, says this arrest means Joshua can be added to their wrongful death suit which they’re still pursuing.

“Certainly, I dont think this young man acted alone,” said Yaffa. “I think that they’re going to find as the investigation moves forward that whether it was his father, the owner of the car or others. There were others who certainly knew what had happened and aided and assisted in terms of either hiding the car or not coming forth with the truth which is a sad state given what was lost in this case.”

RELATED STORY: 18-year-old UF hit and run victim Margaret Paxton remembered by best friend

Attorney Yaffa expects more arrests to come but says the family is still mourning the loss of Maggie.

“But they’ve lost their happy. She’s lost her reason for living. She’s doing the best she can to live for her other children and her husband meaning Lisa Paxton, her mother. This family is devastated and forevermore there’s going to be a gaping hole. We just hope that Maggie’s death stands for something. That no other student has to lose their life the way she did.”

Figueroa is in the Alachua County Jail with his bond set at $20,000.

Court records show Figueroa has been charged and fined 10 times for traffic infractions in Alachua County alone since 2008. The worst was a careless driving incident in 2012.

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