Parents file suit after death of 12-year-old

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Pedestrian Accidents on Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A couple from Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently filed a wrongful death suit against the city where their 12-year-old daughter lost her life. The pedestrian accident occurred in late September when the seventh-grader was hit by an SUV while riding her bike home from school. According to reports, she died less than two hours later.

The family had moved to the city in August after the father took an administrative job there. They moved into a neighborhood on the north side of a street known for being unsafe. According to reports, the family and several neighbors had raised concerns about the safety of the stretch of road where the 12-year-old was struck.

According to the wrongful death claim, the city failed to trim overgrowth on the stretch of Novato Boulevard. This allegedly caused speed limit and pedestrian crossing signs to become obstructed. Many people in the neighborhood would travel to the south side of the street to use the dog park and bike path located there. Reports indicate that the 12-year-old girl was using the bike path and was crossing the road to head home. The suit indicated that there is no crosswalk located in this stretch of the road.

Police determined that the driver that struck the girl was not at fault but the family's attorney said that the police report may indicate otherwise. According to the attorney, the driver was negligent and inattentive. He was also speeding and may have avoided the collision had this not been the case.

The claim seeks to make the area near the neighborhood safer for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling in the area near to where the girl was struck. The deceased is survived by her parents and her three brothers. Reports indicate that a candlelight vigil was held the night after she died. The family has since returned to New Mexico.

Source: San Anselmo-Fairfax Patch, "Family of 12-Year-Old Killed in Bike Accident Files Claim vs. City of Novato," Brent Ainsworth, Nov. 14, 2012