No words can describe how a family is ever able to come to terms with the loss of a young child from a fatal car accident. In many cases, a driver's moment of inattention or distraction turns an otherwise uneventful day into a tragedy from which a family may never truly recover. In a recent Missouri car accident, an 11-month-old girl died after she and her grandfather and aunt were struck by a car as they left church on a Sunday morning.
The accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. just after church services had concluded. Witnesses say the accident apparently occurred when an elderly man accidentally stepped on his gas pedal instead of his brake. He then collided with the family members who were crossing the street at a designated crosswalk.
The car driver stopped after the accident. Witnesses say he was remorseful, indicating that he wished he had been hit instead of the victims. Police say the man has cooperated with them in their investigation. It remains unclear if the man will face criminal charges.
As the police work to complete their car accident investigation, the family is left to bury a little girl and pray for the recovery of the grandfather and aunt. While the grandfather was released from the hospital, the aunt was still being treated for unknown injuries.
Regardless of any police action, the family retains the right to press forward in Missouri courts with a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased child. The grandfather and aunt also have the right to seek monetary damages for their injuries. These legal actions are dependent on proof of negligence in a manner that caused or contributed to the tragic death and injuries. No amount of money can amend what has happened, but a loss in the family shouldn't be coupled with financial burden.
Source: 41 Action News, "11-month-old girl killed, 2 family members hurt when struck by car outside North Kansas City church," Sarah Hollenbeck and Beth Vaughn, Sept. 16, 2012