A fatal hit-and-run accident in North Carolina left a young child dead after getting off the school bus. Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol say that troopers are investigating the deadly accident and have now filed charges against the driver of the tractor-trailer who is believed to have hit and killed the young girl. Officers say the bus came to a full stop with it’s emergency equipment properly activated. That’s when the first-grade girl was getting off the bus at the same moment that a tractor-trailer hauling a full load of lumber passed the stopped bus and hit the child.
Unbelievably, the driver of the semi continued on, southbound on U.S. 421. Police were able to track down the trucking company and eventually the driver, 37-year-old Johnny Spell. Spell was arrested and charged with felony passing a stopped school bus, felony hit and run and involuntary manslaughter. Police say that a continued investigation revealed that Spell was intoxicated at the time of the accident and he has now been given an additional criminal charge, this time a DWI while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Police say the investigation into the deadly accident is ongoing.
We extend our sympathy to the family of the young girl who died. Losing a loved one is always hard, but especially when it is so sudden. Any family who suffers such a loss should contact an experienced North Carolina (NC) wrongful death attorney to ensure that the at-fault driver is held accountable. Even though criminal charges are usually pursued against at-fault drivers in cases like these, it’s also important to understand that a civil claim for compensation can still proceed regardless of what criminal prosecutors decide to do.
If you’re considering reaching out to a NC wrongful death attorney, make sure it’s someone who has experience handling such difficult and emotionally trying cases. Our firm handled one case where our client was killed by the driver of a tractor-trailer, leaving his wife and four children behind. In that case, we were able to secure a $2.4 million settlement for the family. Though the money does not help to heal the deep wounds left after the man’s death, it did help to provide some much needed money for the family.
If someone you love died due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another person, you’re likely confused about how to begin the process of holding the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions. Wrongful death actions can be confusing and are often unfamiliar to most people who, thankfully, have little experience with such lawsuits. For more information on the process, read through our firm’s guide on the wrongful death claims process in North Carolina.