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Suit: Illinois school bus driver contributed to boy's injuries

Children don't write traffic rules, but they have to follow them. In fact, until Cook County children are at least 15, they only qualify as a passenger, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Children are dependent upon adults to teach the rules of the road and set examples by following them.

A Madison County mother is suing two drivers and Illinois Central School Bus over a car accident. The woman's son suffered a complex leg fracture, among other serious injuries, after he was struck by a car in September. The complaint alleges a school bus driver encouraged the boy to cross a street just before the collision.

According to the March filing, the boy was walking home from middle school and stopped at a street corner at an Alton intersection. The driver of a school bus stopped at the intersection apparently waved to the boy, indicating it was safe to cross in front of the bus. The student followed instructions and was hit by a car.

The lawsuit stated the defendants were negligent in several ways. The bus driver was accused of failing to use adequate safety precautions during the observation of a child; the boy trusted the bus driver's judgment. The car driver was faulted for failure to yield and use care to prevent the accident, in addition to failure to keep a lookout and maintain vehicle control.

The liability lawsuit requests damages of over $100,000. Compensation is sought to cover costs associated with the boy's pain and disabling fractured femur. The claim said the injury also robbed the student of life's pleasures.

Pedestrians, especially children, are the most vulnerable users of Illinois roads. Nothing stands between a pedestrian and motorists shielded by the protective shell and safety features of vehicles. Drivers sometimes ignore the dangers of careless driving, but accident victims, who pay the price for driver negligence, never forget.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Woman claims son struck by driver after bus driver waved him across street" Record News, Mar. 24, 2014

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