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Wrongful death claim filed by parents of boy killed by bus

Nearly every parent in New Jersey would agree that no one should outlive their child. Parents send their children off to school every day, expecting to see them at the end of the day. Unfortunately, one couple's young boy never came home again after being killed in a bus accident. Recently, they filed a wrongful death claim against the school district, the bus service and the driver who had struck their child.

In Jan. 2014, their then 6-year-old boy was crossing the street to catch the school bus. The bus struck the boy, but that was not the end of it. Records indicate that the boy was dragged under the bus for an unknown distance. The driver only stopped when the driver of another vehicle flagged down the bus driver.

Sadly, the boy's mother and 3-year-old brother watched the accident happen. Emergency responders took the victim to a local hospital. However, his skull was crushed, and medical personnel were not able to save his life.

The investigation determined that the driver of the bus was not impaired by drugs or alcohol and was not driving recklessly. The bus was also inspected to make sure that no mechanical issue was to blame, and nothing was found to be wrong with it. Therefore, New Jersey authorities made the determination that no criminal charges would be filed against the driver.

The fact that criminal charges are not being filed does not preclude the couple from pursuing their wrongful death claim. The burden of proof in a civil action is not as stringent as it is in criminal cases, so it is possible to prevail in civil court. The parents need to present evidence that establishes the bus driver's negligence in order for the court to consider awarding them damages.

Source: njherald.com, "Parents of boy killed in school bus accident file lawsuit", Jan. 20, 2015

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