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Boy Killed at Bus Stop: Is the School Responsible?

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VetLaw attorney Mike Daisley is currently working on a case that started nearly a decade ago, and it involves a boy named Johnathan, who was killed at age seven in April 2010. Johnathan had to walk to his bus stop and cross a road with a speed limit of 55mph.

By law, busses are required to activate their warning lights 300 feet before stopping. However, the oncoming traffic did not have enough warning that there was a bus stop. Jonathan was killed on Medlin road, which is less than 200 feet before his house.

Lara Beegle, Jonathan’s mother, sued the Union County Board of Education over the bus stop’s design. According to Beegle, the school system could have done more to make the bus stop safer for the kids walking to the stop.

Daisley said the lawsuit was filed to hold those who did not act with the children’s best interest in mind accountable. Attorneys Mike Daisley and Sam McGee both stated that the speed limit on the road was not considered when the bus route was established.

The driver of the van was not charged because there was not enough proof that he had passed a stopped school bus. The insurance company, driver, and Johnathan’s family reached a settlement. Beegle was awarded $2 million for the case, yet the N.C. Attorney General’s Office appealed the verdict. One of the reasons for the appeal was that the unsafe condition of the bus stop was not the exact cause of injury to Johnathan.

Lara Beegle, Mike Daisley, and Sam McGee plan to fight the appeal. They hope this case sends a message to schools that the location of bus stops is a serious matter that should be taken into deep consideration.