You probably remember the tragic incident back in October which involved three girls under the age of six being struck by a car in North Las Vegas. The girls (who were being escorted by their teenaged sisters) were in a marked crosswalk crossing Camino Eldorado on their way home from a nearby park when the auto-pedestrian accident occurred. One of the girls later succumbed to her injuries.
Yesterday, the North Las Vegas city attorney filed charges against the 78-year old woman who was behind the wheel of the car that hit the little girls. She faces three counts of failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and is also charged with failing to give full time and attention to driving as well as passing a vehicle while stopped for a pedestrian.
However, the city attorney declined to charge her with vehicular manslaughter, which was the charge recommended by North Las Vegas police. That has brought questions from the family of the deceased youngster, who is concerned that fatal accidents such as these do not have severe enough penalties.
It is important to note that the specific criminal charges will have very little effect on any future wrongful death lawsuit that the family decides to file against the elderly woman. That’s because the success of a civil suit such as this only requires 1) that the defendant be found negligent and/or reckless in her behavior, and 2) that those actions led to the death of the child. If/when the elderly woman is found guilty of or admits to her crimes in court, then that liability will be established for the purposes of the wrongful death lawsuit.