A serious accident involving a bus and school children resulted in an Indiana woman’s criminal conviction for her poor driving in the moments before the crash.
Multiple people die in school bus accident
The crash happened on a Tuesday morning in a rural section of Rochester Indiana as a number of students were about to board the bus. The bus was going northbound on State Road 25 near a mobile home park when it stopped and activated its emergency lights to warn drivers that children would be walking through the area. While the stop sign was extended from the bus, a Toyota pickup truck going the opposite direction on the same road continued despite the warnings and struck multiple people. The victims included a pair of 6 year old twin boys, a 9 year old, and an 11 year old. The NTSB stated that they would conduct a full investigation into the crash and the exact cause of the incident. At least six federal workers were sent to start the process of recreating the accident and making other determinations.
Three children were killed and a fourth suffered multiple broken bones. The children’s parents arrived on the scene to identify them. The lone survivor of the accident had to be airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne for surgery.
The 24 year old female driver faced a number of criminal charges including disobeying a stop sign and multiple counts of reckless homicide. She was released from a local jail in Fulton County after posting a $15,000 bond. The police conducted a brief interview with her on the scene, but they did not disclose what was said.
The woman was later convicted in criminal court for the deaths of the children, she was in the process of appealing her conviction at the time of the news report.
Indiana’s wrongful death law
As a general rule, wrongful death laws allow a victim’s family to file a civil lawsuit in their place after an accident. These laws exist because a person or business who committed a negligent or intentional act and would normally be sued should not be able to avoid punishment if they happened to kill the victim. The civil case can also be filed whether the person is facing related criminal charges for the same act or not.
Each state has its own set of rules for wrongful death cases, and Indiana has written all of these into the relevant statute. The state allows certain relatives to be paid for the victim’s funeral and burial, lost income, hospital bills, and an amount tied to the emotional pain of losing a family member. The spouse is the first family member who is allowed to file, but if the person was unmarried or the spouse is unavailable, children or any next of kin who were financially dependent on the victim can file the case.
Learn about the possibility of a lawsuit after a deadly accident
If you need a lawyer to file a wrongful death case on your behalf, contact Marshall P. Whalley and Associates. They assist local clients throughout Indiana.