A Florida family has spent the last year dealing with the death of their little boy after he was hit by a truck while playing on the beach. Following the accident, Florida Highway Patrol completed an investigation and decided not to press charges against the truck driver.
It may seem unfair that the driver of the truck is not being charged with anything. But the family is seeking compensation through a civil claim. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Volusia County as well as the truck driver earlier this week.
Last year, the little boy had been at the beach with his family; some traffic is allowed on beaches. The little boy was heading for the water and ran into the path of a truck that was passing the family. The truck driver apparently did not see the boy in front of his vehicle. Responders quickly transported the boy to the hospital but his injuries were fatal.
This recent lawsuit has raised questions over whether traffic should be allowed on beaches. There had been another death last year when a little girl as killed at a nearby Florida beach. In fact, in Volusia County alone there have been nearly 50 accidents in the past 15 years involving a beach visitor getting hit by a motor vehicle.
Volusia County had begun focusing efforts on reminding drivers that children are playing on beaches and have tried to make drivers more aware of traffic-free zones throughout the county. But is that enough? This year alone 5 individuals have been injured while at the beach.
While it is unclear whether the county's efforts will effectively reduce the number of beach vehicle injuries, the lawsuit will likely increase concern about the dangers that vehicles can pose to beachgoers. Perhaps it will spark change that will prevent future incidents from occurring.
Source: Orlando Sentinel: "Family sues Volusia County in beach-driving death of 4-year-old boy," Jon Busdeker, Aug. 8, 2011.