Is it legal to drive a pickup truck with children sitting in the truck bed? According to North Carolina Law, the answer is, sometimes. Is it legal to fail to yield to another vehicle when entering an intersection? According to North Carolina law, the answer is a resounding no.
In Hendersonville, North Carolina a 62-year-old grandmother, Kay Dalton, has been cited for failure to yield in a two-truck accident that claimed the life of her 11-year-old grandson, Ethan Beddingfield. Ethan was trying to spend as much time as he could on his grandparent’s farm before beginning middle school in the fall and was riding in the bed of his grandmother’s truck helping on the farm at the time of the fatal accident.
According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Dalton failed to yield to a flatbed truck at a rural Hendersonville intersection. The truck hit Dalton’s pickup truck and Ethan was ejected from the truck bed. The woman was turning onto Howard Gap Road from Tracy Grove Road in her Ford F-150 when the truck accident occurred. The 1998 Ford flatbed truck was driven by Troy Tessneer, 59, of Marion
Ethan Beddingfield went into cardiac arrest after the accident and died the next day at Mission Hospital from the injuries he sustained in the car accident.
Dalton won’t be charged for Ethan riding in the bed of the truck. Under North Carolina law, if all other seats in the truck are occupied and if the truck is being used for agricultural reasons, children under 16 can ride the backs of trucks. Three other children were riding in the cab of the truck, all wearing seat belts.