By Spy Uganda
A civil trial began Monday in downtown Salt Lake City after a 25-years-old Ugandan woman was killed in the Arches National Park in the U.S. state of Utah, and her relatives are seeking 140 million U.S. dollars in damages from the U.S. government.
According to a court filing, Esther Nakajjigo, a Ugandan singer and actress, was driving around the park with his husband on a windy spring day in 2020 when a metal gate whipped around, sliced through the passenger door of her car and decapitated Nakajjigo.
The victim’s family gave their opening arguments on Tuesday, saying that the National Park Service (NPS), an agency of federal government within the U.S. Department of the Interior that manages all national parks, was negligent and did not maintain the gates at the entrances and exits to the parks, which led to Nakajjigo’s death.
U.S. attorneys, the defence for NPS, did not dispute that park officials shouldered the blame but argued the amount the family should be offered is far less at 3.5 million U.S. dollars and called into question the ways in which the damages being sought were calculated.
Arches National Park is a 300-square-kilometers desert landscape near Moab, Utah, that is visited by more than 1.5 million people annually. It’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.