Every driver has experienced the safety precautions in place to protect school children as they enter and exit a school bus. There are flashing lights, a stop sign, even a metal arm that stretches across a lane of traffic to prevent reckless drivers from trying to pass. Unfortunately, the precautions were not enough to protect a young North Carolina girl from a truck driver accused of being impaired while driving a load of logs. The man has been charged in a case that may well result in a wrongful death case.
According to police reports detailing the death of the 7-year-old girl, the bus driver had engaged all required safety lights and devices. However, despite these measures, the tractor-trailer driver allegedly attempted to pass the stopped bus, striking the young girl who had exited the bus and was crossing the road to her house. The girl’s aunt observed the events as they occurred.
The truck driver suspected of striking the little girl, who has a long history of driving charges as well as other criminal activity, did not stop at the scene. He was later arrested after an anonymous tip. He now faces several charges related to the incident including manslaughter, illegally passing a bus, hit-and-run, among others.
The unspeakable tragedy this family faces today as it copes with the loss of a beloved little girl is unimaginable. Although family and friends are doing their best to provide solace to the bereaved family, this may not be enough. The criminal charges may provide some peace of mind for the North Carolina family; however, further action in the form of a wrongful death civil case may also be appropriate. If the court finds that the girl’s death was a result of the man’s negligent actions, her family could receive monetary compensation to help alleviate the financial burden created by the unexpected death.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, “Sampson County girl’s death leaves family devastated,” Paul Woolverton, April 25, 2013