Posted in News on April 22, 2018
Several students suffered injuries when a motorist crashed a Jeep SUV into Barclay Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland around 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018. Official reports say the incident was unintentional and occurred because the driver was suffering a medical emergency behind the wheel. Luckily, no injuries to the driver or students were fatal. Here are the details about this accident – plus a look into whether or not parents of those injured have the right to file civil claims.
Shortly before 11:00 a.m. on March 9th, the driver of a Jeep SUV ran off the road at the 2900 block of Barclay Street, crashing into the brick wall of Barclay Elementary School. Witnesses stated that the driver had either a stroke or seizure behind the wheel, lost control of the vehicle, and drove into the school. (Reports have not yet confirmed what type of medical emergency the driver was experiencing.) An anonymous witness stated that he saw the driver in the wrong lane heading south on Barclay before swerving off the road and striking the school.
The collision sent bricks and debris flying into a classroom at the school, injuring five students. One student present at the accident, Armani Saunders, said she was in the middle of her music class when she heard a loud boom she thought was a bomb. She then saw that a car had collided with the school. Saunders described the experience as “scary” and “horrible,” with people limping around and trying to help others that fell down. School officials put the school on lockdown before realizing what had caused the calamity.
Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa described the scene as a “mess” and says the community was fortunate that no one suffered more serious injuries. Student injuries from the incident allegedly involved scrapes, bruises, and other minor injuries. Doctors treated and released four of the five students sent to the emergency room for their injuries by 5:00 p.m. the day of the accident. The driver also survived the medical emergency and subsequent crash. The school reopened the following Monday after an inspection deemed it structurally sound and made counselors available for anyone with anxiety after the crash.
Although police are still finishing a full investigation into the SUV accident, parents of injured children may wonder what their rights are in terms of pursuing civil damages. Parents may be dealing with children’s medical bills and lost wages from missed time at work, as well as mental anguish on top of the child’s physical pain, emotional suffering, and psychological trauma. It is possible that the driver of the SUV, Barclay Elementary/Middle School, and/or other parties could be liable for damages.
As a parent, you have the right to pursue financial compensation from one or more parties after a negligence-related accident injures your child. The Maryland civil courts permit parents to file claims against public schools and the governments in charge of the schools. However, parents must have proof of the defendant’s negligence or breach of duty in causing or contributing to injuries. In the case of the SUV accident, the school might be liable for failing to keep students safe.
It might also be possible to file a claim against the driver of the SUV. Although the deed was not intentional, the driver’s insurance company may still be responsible for covering victims’ damages. An insurance claim could result in benefits for your child’s medical bills and other damages. Contact a Baltimore attorney if your child was one of the five physically injured in the recent Barclay School accident, or if your child suffers from psychological damage from the incident. A lawyer can help you review your legal rights and options.