Sometimes the most tragic auto accidents do not occur on busy highways but in quiet, residential neighborhoods. That was the case when a 5-year-old Nevada child was killed while riding her tricycle along a sidewalk in Fernley on Jan. 2. The driver who hit the child was taken into custody for felony DUI.
The little girl was with her grandmother and another child who was riding a scooter at the time of the accident. The grandmother had stopped to assist the child riding the scooter while the little girl on the tricycle continued to ride down the sidewalk by herself. The allegedly drunk driver, while backing out of her driveway, struck the little girl. The child died at the scene.
The Nevada Highway Patrol officers who conducted the accident investigation said that the driver did not see the child riding behind her car. When the car hit the tricycle, the little girl fell off, and the woman reportedly backed over her. In addition to the criminal charge, the driver could also face a wrongful death lawsuit to determine her liability for negligence.
Clearly, operating a vehicle while intoxicated can have tragic consequences when we least expect them. When drunken driving causes injury or death, victims or their families have the right to pursue justice beyond any criminal conviction that follows the offense. However, civil claims of personal injury and wrongful death do not automatically result from a criminal charge. A plaintiff still has to build a case to achieve justice beyond criminal court, and a personal injury attorney can help achieve that end.
Source: KOLO 8 News Now, “Details Emerge on How Driver Hit, Killed 5-Year-Old Girl in Fernley,” Jan. 3, 2014