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School District Faces Lawsuit after Student Injured at Bus Stop

A lawsuit has been filed against the Wake County school system in North Carolina regarding a child hit by a teen driver near a school bus stop. Sixth grader Michael Burgess suffered multiple injuries trying to cross the road to his school bus stop in September 2014 when the driver of a vehicle failed to obey traffic laws.

Now, Burgess’s family is taking legal action, claiming the school district placed the bus stop in a dangerous location. The lawsuit also accuses the teen river who hit Burgess of acting negligently.

But stops in North Carolina typically change each school year, due in part to the shortage of bus drivers available throughout the state. The lawsuit mentions the lack of drivers having had an impact on the location of bus stops, and explains how the district had moved the bus stop outside of the mobile home park to a road with a speed limit of 45 mph.

According to details from the lawsuit, Burgess was hit in the southbound lane as he crossed Johnson Pond Road to catch his northbound school bus. His foot and ankle were caught beneath the vehicle before he was propelled into the air, eventually landing in a drainage ditch. He suffered physical and psychological injuries that included multiple ankle fractures, an orbital right bone right fracture, a concussion, and a closed head injury. He also exhibited signs of PTSD.

Failure to Obey School Bus-related Traffic Laws a Serious Problem

A statement issued by the Burgess family attorney explained, “This is just one of several tragic cases across North Carolina where young children have been seriously injured or killed while crossing the street to do something as simple and necessary as getting on the bus to go to school. In many of these cases, the child had to cross a busy road with a high speed limit. No parent should have to worry that their child is being put in harm’s way while going to and from school.”

Data shows there are frequent instances of drivers failing to heed traffic laws concerning buses. On a single day in March 2017, data showed more than 350 violations in Wake County alone, and more than 3100 instances throughout the state. Since 1998, fourteen students have been killed in incidents that included drivers failing to stop for school buses.

If your child has been injured in an accident near a school bus stop or was hit by a driver who failed to obey school bus traffic laws, we can help. Contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377 for a free consultation.

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