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Information has been released about a lawsuit filed against the Richland School District concerning a bus stop accident last October.

   The student was hit by a vehicle while crossing the street after the bus left, says the lawsuit

A local Tri-City and Yakima law firm has filed the suit in Benton County Superior Court claiming the School District, the bus driver and the driver of a truck were negligent in preventing the accident.

October 22nd, 2021, the suit says a Richland School bus driven by Jennifer Garcia was dropping off children at stop 301, which is located near the southwest corner of Hood and Spengler. Of the 19 children, the suit says 8 of them have to cross from the south to the north side of Spengler to reach their homes. The victim, an 11-year-old female identified as "T.E." in the suit, was struck by a westbound truck driven by James Koester on Spengler.

The suit says the child suffered significant injuries and damages, which also resulted in significant wage loss and damages to the child's mother, identified in the suit as "N.I.E."

  The suit claims the bus driver did not follow procedures and RCW laws

A number of state laws and portions of the Revised Code of Washington were violated, claims the suit. The suit names 3 sections of the RCW that apparently require a school bus to remain stationary with safety equipment, lights, and the crossing barrier deployed until all children are across the street in front of the bus if necessary, or otherwise are clear of the stop area.

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We reached out to the Tamaki Law Firm which has filed the suit asking for some clarifications, and  Attorney Megan L. Chang-Ngaruiya responded with a statement that read in part:

"... the bus driver drove away before all of the students that needed to cross the road had done so, including the child that was subsequently injured."

The suit seeks damages and compensation for the victims via trial.

No word if any response issued by the RSD at this time.


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