The cause of death of Nikki Catsouras and the family's legal actions

The cause of death of Nikki Catsouras and the family’s legal actions

The cause of death of Nikki Catsouras and the family’s legal actions Nicole “Nikki” Catsouras (March 4, 1988 – October 31, 2006), who died at the age of 18 in a high speed car crash after losing control of her father’s Porsche 911 Carrera and colliding with a toll booth in Lake Forest, California. Photographs of Catsouras’ badly disfigured body were published on the internet, leading her family to take legal action for the distress this caused.

Circumstances of the accident

On October 31, 2006, Catsouras and her parents ate lunch together at the family home‎ in Ladera Ranch, California. Afterward, her father, Christos Catsouras, left for work while her mother Lesli remained at home. Around 10 minutes later, her mother saw Catsouras reversing out of the driveway in Christos’ Porsche 911 Carrera, which she was not permitted to drive. Lesli called her husband and he began driving around trying to find his daughter. While doing so, he called 9-1-1, apparently minutes before the accident, and was put on hold. When he was taken off hold the dispatcher informed him of the accident.


Catsouras was traveling on the 241 Toll Road in Lake Forest at approximately 1T38 pm, when she clipped a Honda Civic that she was attempting to pass on the right at over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). The Porsche crossed the road’s broad median, which lacks a physical barrier on that segment, and crashed into an unmanned concrete toll booth near the Alton Parkway interchange. Catsouras was killed on impact. Toxicological tests revealed traces of cocaine in Catsouras’ body, but no alcohol.

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By Joy