Every day that a parent sends their child out the front door to the bus stop, they trust that they will arrive at school safely. Sadly, this isn't always the case. Only minutes after telling his mom goodbye, a Kempsville High school student was struck and fatally injured on the way to his bus stop in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). The accident happened at the corner of Providence Road and Jamestowne Drive. Our most sincere condolences go out to the parents of this child. A loss like this is one that no parent should ever have to suffer.
My first concern is why do children have to cross a busy street in order to get to the bus stop? I hope the city reevaluates the position of the bus stop. No charges have been filed against the driver. The case remains under investigation by the Police Department's Fatal Crash Team.
The morning of the accident, it was wet and rainy, turning the clock forward for daylight savings time had made the walk to the bus stop a dark one. These factors may have affected the motorists ability to stop in time. As a solution to the problem, people have suggested that the city should consider installing a crosswalk to prevent another student from being injured. However as a personal injury attorney I have seen many fatal pedestrian accidents that occurred within the confines of a crosswalk.
In fact, there is considerable controversy in the United States over whether providing marked crosswalks will increase or decrease pedestrian safety at crossing locations not controlled by a traffic signal or stop sign. Public opinion generally holds that a marked crosswalk is a tool that works to enhance pedestrian mobility and safety. Markings are viewed as proof that pedestrians have a legitimate right to share the roadway.
However, by legal definition, crosswalks may exist whether they are marked or not. Crosswalks, legally are defined as existing at all public street intersections. During 2008 our firm settled a case for a pedestrian who was crossing a road (near the intersection) but the road did not have a cross walk or traffic light, and the first personal injury law firm he called turned his case down. They assumed he must have been partially at fault. Wrong! We settled the case after about a year for $100,000. In Virginia and many other states, a pedestrian has a right-of-way at a street corner when crossing under circumstances where a car or truck driver has a clear view of the pedestrian.