11-year-old Dario Rodriguez, a Massachusetts resident, died on Monday because of injuries he sustained in a car accident.
Dario was struck by a car while he and two children were crossing Route 114 at Winthrop Avenue close to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was treated for serious head injuries and later died.
The car driver, James Gianni, says that the motor vehicle in front of him stopped to allow the children to cross the street. Gianni says he did not have enough time to step on the breaks. To avoid hitting the other vehicle, he swerved into the right lane and hit Dario.
Police in Lawrence are investigating the fatal pedestrian accident. An accident reconstruction team with the Massachusetts State Police has been brought in to examine the evidence.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,881 traffic-related pedestrian fatalities in 2005. About 1/5 of those deaths were child pedestrians, 5-9 years of age.
The CDC says that children are reportedly at high risk for sustaining pedestrian injuries because:
• Their small size makes them harder for car drivers, bus drivers, and truck drivers to see.
• Many young children don’t fully understand the way traffic signals work.
• Children are not able to correctly judge how fast a motor vehicle is going or how far away a car actually is from the pedestrian lane.
• Children and drivers can mistakenly assume that the other party is going to yield.
• Many kids walk to school.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers a number of suggestions of what children can do to stay safe on the roads:
• Don’t cross the street alone if you are under 10 years of age.
• Don’t play in the street.
• Walk on sidewalks.
• If you have to walk on the street, face oncoming traffic.
• Wear bright or retroreflective clothing so that drivers can see you.
Even if a child and his or her parents take all the necessary precautions to stay safe on the roads, there is no guarantee that a driver will not behave negligently or carelessly and cause a pedestrian accident to take place.
In Massachusetts, minors cannot file a lawsuit against anyone. The parents or guardian of a child injured or killed in a personal injury accident, however, can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against any negligent parties.
Sixth grader dies from car accident injuries, Eagletribune.com, October 3, 2007
Safety Tips, Safekids.org
Why are Children at Increased Risk?, CDC.gov
Related Web Resources:
Facts About Injuries to Child Pedestrians (PDF)
If your child was injured or killed while crossing the street as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle in Massachusetts, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer right away.
Altman & Altman LLP is a Massachusetts personal injury law firm that represents children and adults in all areas of personal injury law. You deserve to receive compensation for the injuries or death of your loved one. Contact Altman & Altman LLP and ask for your free case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.