Articles Posted in Injury to Minors

The Kentucky State Police and Butler County Sheriff’s office are investigating a deadly bus crash that occurred Monday afternoon near the intersection of Provo Road and Kentucky Highway 70 on Rochester Road.  The police say five-year-old Jaden Hawkins was struck as he was crossing the street just after getting off the bus.  Butler County Coroner Marty Jones says the boy was pronounced dead at the scene about 15 minutes later.  According to news reports, the bus stop was a scheduled stop regularly used by Jaden.  Butler County Schools released a statement around 6 PM which explains that the bus driver involved in this incident, Janine Dockery of Morgantown, has been employed with the school district for 18 years.  The School District is cooperating with the police and the bus has been confiscated for investigation.

If it is determined that the bus driver was not operating the vehicle with reasonable care in the circumstances, he or she may be liable under a theory of negligence for the child’s death and the damages caused.  A bus driver that transports students owes a duty of care to make sure that the students do not get injured.  Common carriers, such as bus drivers, are held to a higher standard of care than those operating normal motor vehicles.  Given KSP’s indication that the boy was struck during a scheduled unloading, it is possible that the driver breached the standard of care owed to the child.  Additionally, if the investigation reveals any negligence by the Butler County School District, the school district could also be liable for the child’s death.

If the bus driver is found to be at-fault for causing the collision that resulted in the death of Jaden Hawkins, it is possible that the boy’s relatives may have grounds to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver in addition to a negligence claim.  Wrongful death is a cause of action which enables a personal representative, such as a parent, to file a lawsuit against the party that negligently or intentionally caused their child’s death.  Potentially recoverable damages can include funeral and administrative expenses, loss of services, loss of consortium and loss of power to earn.  The statute also dictates how such damages, if awarded, are to be disbursed amongst the surviving family members.

A utility van and minivan were involved in a wreck on the 3300 block of Fern Valley Road just before 9:00AM Thursday morning. The two-vehicle crash caused the road to be shut down for several hours while officers investigated the wreck.

A nine-year-old girl who was secured in a booster seat in the mini-van was injured in the wreck. She was taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital where she remains in critical condition. Her mother, who was driving the minivan, was taken to University of Louisville hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the utility van walked across the street to be treated for minor injuries at the immediate care center.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Alicia Smiley stated that the utility van was pulling out of a parking lot onto Fern Valley Road when it collided with the minivan. The utility van was overturned by the impact.

Bourbon County Middle School’s first day back after the Memorial Day Holiday was a somber one. It was the first day back after a tragic car wreck claimed the life of one of their fellow classmates.

13-year-old Emily Sams was killed in a car crash Saturday morning. The crash occurred on I-64 in Scott County, Kentucky. Emily, along with her mother and father, were in their pickup truck when a Camry ran off the road, overcorrected, and struck the Sams’ vehicle. Both vehicles rolled and Emily was ejected.

The Scott County Coroner told LEX 18 that Emily was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Her mother is in critical condition at UK hospital and her father appears to be stable. Those in the Camry were not injured.

3 Metcalfe County High School Students were involved in a crash on Friday, 5/15. This crash tragically ended in one death, and left two others in the hospital.

According to Police, around 7:30 am, 17-year-old Jacob White went off the road and over corrected his vehicle, causing it to flip. Passenger, 15-year-old Trevor Meadows, was ejected from the vehicle and taken to the hospital, along with one additional passenger, Jackson Colby Blair.  The driver, Jacob White died at the scene.

This is a devastating reminder of the need to operate our vehicles in the safest manner possible. Although it appears that driver error is to blame here, a full and complete investigation is required to determine any potential causes, such as whether mechanical failure and defective equipment or parts, played any role. The survivors, as well as the friends and family of those killed, will want and deserve answers. If it is determined that the driver was not operating the vehicle with reasonable care, he may be liable for damages and claims against his estate may be brought by the survivors.

A 7-year-old girl was dragged over 1,000 feet by her school bus on Friday. After getting off the bus, the girl’s backpack got snagged in the door of the bus which proceeded to drive away from where it had dropped her off, dragging her behind it. A neighbor’s surveillance camera caught the incident on tape.

A driver in a red Camaro saw the incident occur and sped to the front of the bus to warn the driver. One witness said the girl hardly had any skin left on one of her legs. Once the bus stopped, the girl was rushed to Kosair Children’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

If the bus driver is found to have breached his or her standard of care in operating the bus in a safe and reasonable manner, then he or she could be civilly liable under a theory of negligence for the injuries that resulted.

A trial in South Georgia concerning the death of a four year old boy is renewing debate over Jeep safety. Remington Walden died in the backseat of his family’s 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee when the car erupted in flames after being rear-ended at an intersection. The family’s lawyers allege that the carmaker has long been aware of the fatal defects that caused the child’s tragic and painful death, including the fuel tank placement just 11 inches from the rear bumper.

BCCN reported in October of 2009 that the Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tank was 400% more likely to cause a fire and endanger or kill the vehicle’s occupants than other SUVs.  The Center for Auto Safety had at the time asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall all such cars made between 1993-2004, asserting that data showed that these cars were 4 times more likely to result in a fatal fire during a crash than other sport utility vehicles. The government currently links at least 70 deaths to these vehicles’ defects.

Fiat Chrysler recalled more than 1.5 million vehicles, including all 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models as well as the ones suggested years earlier by the Center, under government pressure in June 2013. The company continues to insist that the vehicles met safety requirements at the time they were built, and that they were not defective. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, stated in a deposition that the company believes that the cars are no more susceptible to fire than other SUVs.

Two vehicles were involved in an accident Friday evening when a pickup truck carrying four teenagers struck a stopped semi-truck off the side of Bluegrass Parkway. Witnesses stated that the pickup truck was drifting off into the left shoulder when it took a hard right into the back of the semi. The teens were returning from a basketball game across town when the accident occurred.

One of the teens was pronounced dead at the scene. A second, who had been airlifted to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, was pronounced dead after surgery. The driver and third passenger were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The semi driver also was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The Anderson County Coroner has stated that drugs and alcohol are not thought to be involved in the crash. Investigators are still trying to figure out the exact cause; while driver error is always a prime suspect, things like mechanical error and product defects should be considered and ruled out. In any event, with a serious accident such as this, a full investigation should be performed, including an accident reconstruction, in order to figure out just what went wrong. No doubt, the friends and family of the victims will have questions and want answers.

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Alexandra Bush, 17, of Grayson, Kentucky and a senior at East Carter High School, sustained fatal injuries when she was ejected from the Chevrolet Blazer she was riding in. Paige, as she was known, was a passenger in the Blazer driven by 41 year old Carmel Maggard. He and another passenger sustained severe injuries.

The wreck happened when a car traveling westbound on U.S. 60 crossed over the centerline and crashed into the Blazer. The crash sent the Blazer into a barrier wall, and then into the westbound lane of traffic where it overturned and was struck again by another car.

Although it is early on, it appears that driver error by the westbound car’s operator may be the cause of the accident. There is no indication of other causes at this time or what exactly caused the car to cross the centerline. In any event, with a serious accident such as this, a full investigation should be performed, including an accident reconstruction, in order to figure out just what went wrong. No doubt, the friends and family of the victims will have questions and want answers.

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A Louisville daycare has been shut down after two employees repeatedly struck a one-year-old girl in their care with a ruler. According to Louisville Metro Police, a security video depicts two caregivers employed by Trina’s Treehouse II, located on Cane Run Road, repeatedly striking the girl. The employees are now facing 4th degree battery charges.

The owner of Trina’s Treehouse II previously operated another facility, Trina’s Treehouse, which was shut down by authorities after a child died in her care after choking on a tack.

Victims of child abuse in Kentucky are afforded legal rights to seeks compensation for sustained injuries and suffering. Not only can the employees who perpetrated the abuse be held liable, but the daycare facility, as well. Typically such civil claims can involve allegations that the daycare negligently hired the employees, negligent trained the employees and/or negligently supervised the employees.


A child is being treated for life-threatening injuries at Kentucky Children’s Hospital after being hit by a car. The accident occurred on Auburn Drive off of Eastland Parkway in Lexington. The child was walking on Eastland Parkway when an unidentified driver of a silver Impala attempted to turn onto Auburn Drive off of Eastland Parkway. The driver struck the child, causing her to become pinned against a tree.

According to authorities, the driver claimed that she did not see the young girl on the street because the sun was in her eyes. Police continue to investigate the accident and whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

While it has not been definitively determined what caused the accident, it is possible that the driver of the Impala was not operating due care in the operation of her vehicle. If this is the case, the family of the injured girl may have grounds to bring a civil claim against the driver.

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