Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Car crash kills 13-year-old boy who was helping change tire

The tragedies involving death and personal injury that occur when people drive carelessly on the highways bring untold human suffering that could have been prevented with some common sense and a measure of attention. A recent car crash in Tennessee on Interstate 24 is another heartbreaking tragedy that severed the joy of a close family in a split second. A 33-year-old female from Murfreesboro was reportedly speeding on the interstate near Smyrna when she lost control of her vehicle, crossed the center lane and crashed into and killed a 13-year-old boy who was helping his mother change a flat tire, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The out-of-control motorist also struck the boy's mother, who suffered an ankle injury but was released from care. The vehicle just missed the boy's younger sister. The tortfeasor left the scene of the accident and was apprehended shortly thereafter. She remains behind bars on vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault charges, along with charges of leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

The mother had home-schooled her son, and the family was active in church affairs. The boy was also active in boy scouts and various types of charity work. The apparent at-fault driver claimed to reporters that her car was hit by a truck and she knows nothing about hitting a child.

Another motorist reportedly witnessed the car crash and followed the perpetrator while notifying the Tennessee Highway Patrol. That eyewitness account will likely be strong evidence of negligence and causation against the suspect. Regardless of there were criminal charges, a civil claim for wrongful death money damages can be brought by the mother against the driver. The driver's auto insurance will likely pay the policy limits in a clear-cut liability situation like this one. The mother should check her own auto insurance policy to determine the amount of coverage that may be available for underinsured motorists' protection.

Source: wkrn.com, "Teen killed on I-24 hit-and-run while helping mom change tire", April 10, 2015

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