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Driver drops bid to sue family of boy he killed

  • Story Highlights
  • Spaniard withdraws lawsuit against the family of a boy he struck and killed
  • Tomas Delgado had filed a suit, saying collision had also damaged his car
  • News of the case sparked outrage in Spain and deep sympathy for the parents
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HARO, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish businessman withdrew a controversial lawsuit Wednesday against the family of a teenage boy he struck and killed while driving a luxury car.

Tomas Delgado had filed a suit asking the dead boy's parents to pay him €20,000 ($29,400) on the grounds that the collision that killed their teenage son also damaged his Audi A-8.

News of the case sparked outrage in Spain and generated deep sympathy for the parents of 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo Trinidad. He was riding his bicycle home to a campground when Delgado's car hit and killed him in August 2004.

Hundreds of people descended on a courthouse in northern Spain in a show of support for the boy's parents Wednesday. They broke into applause when word came that Delgado had dropped the suit.

The businessman had insisted in a recent television interview that he was a victim, too. He was not present for a court hearing Wednesday. His lawyer told the court that Delgado felt that the extensive publicity amounted to a public lynching.

Outside the courthouse, the boy's father -- Antonio Iriondo -- told CNN he was content with the decision. Yet he also said his family will explore the possibility of criminal charges against the man.

"This is just the beginning," the father said.

His son was killed as he cycled back from a nearby village to a campground where his family was vacationing.

Iriondo Trinidad's father told CNN he heard the screeching of the car from the campgrounds. The teen was struck from behind and dragged 106 meters (347 feet) along the rural highway, the father said.

A traffic report said Delgado was traveling 113 km per hour (70 mph) in an area where the speed limit is 90 km (55 mph). An independent expert hired by Trinidad's family said Delgado was going 173 km per hour (107 mph).

Shortly after the collision, a judge dismissed criminal charges against Delgado after concluding that he had committed no criminal infraction, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

The teen's mother, Rosa, told the newspaper that the family was given three days to appeal the judge's ruling, but they were too distraught to pursue it. She also told the newspaper that her family's lawyer advised her and her husband not to pursue criminal charges.

After the collision, Delgado's insurance company paid the family €33,000 ($48,500).

Two years after the wreck, Delgado sued the family for damages to his car and for car rental costs.

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The boy's mother told CNN before the hearing that she was indignant that the driver would seek damages after killing her son.

A local prosecutor told reporters that he would take a second look at the case to see whether authorities can file fresh charges against Delgado. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Al Goodman contributed to this story

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