A 3-year-old has died following a tragic pedestrian accident on Westwood Street in Cincinnati early Monday morning. The 35-year-old driver of the vehicle involved in the crash has been charged with DUI in the fatal accident. The accident involved a 32-year-old mother who was walking her three children all under the age of 5 to the babysitter's before she went to work. The family was walking along Westwood Street just after 4:00 a.m. with the youngest, a 1-year-old pushed in a stroller. The family crossed Westwood Northern Boulevard walking south on McHenry following the left-hand sidewalk where the neon lights on Harrison Avenue come into view.
After walking just under a mile, mostly uphill the family was struck by a passenger vehicle driven by the 35-year-old who lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle first collided with a utility pole before crashing into the young mother, the 3-year-old and the stroller carrying her 1-year-old. The vehicle did not stop until it crashed into a fire hydrant, according to police. Three of the family members were taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for treatment of their injuries and the third child who was uninjured was turned over to his father at the scene of the accident.
The 3-year-old was later declared dead while the youngest child's injuries were deemed non-life-threatening. The mother luckily only sustained minor injuries in the horrific crash and was treated and released. The intersection where the crash occurred is a busy one with a number of businesses and heavy pedestrian traffic. While the driver has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police indicated further charges are pending. In addition to her criminal case she could be facing a civil trial as well in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.
Anyone injured by a drunk or reckless driver may be entitled to damages that result from their injuries. In this case the family members may be entitled to not only medical expenses and funeral costs, but pain and suffering, loss of life and other damages as well. If a judge or jury deems the driver's actions so egregious as to have willfully disregarded the safety of others, punitive damages may come into play as well. Although nothing can undo the damage done at this point, a wrongful death claim may provide the family with some comfort during such a difficult time.
Source: Cincinnati.com, "Driver charged in child's death," Mark Curnutte and Jennifer Edwards Baker, Oct. 8, 2012
This Cincinnati personal injury law firm handles a range of motor vehicle accident cases, including drunk driving and pedestrian and bicycle accidents similar to the one discussed in this post.