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Scott McDonald and Associates PLLC

Toddler Killed by Truck Backing Out of Driveway near Ferndale, WA

A 2 year old girl tragically died on July 23rd as a result of negligence on the part of a truck driver in a fatal car v. pedestrian accident near Ferndale, Washington.  Our prayers and condolences to the family of the young girl.
The young girl was playing in the driveway of a Nooksack tribal housing development. The truck driver had told the young girl and other children to move out of the way before backing, but failed to notice that the children had not moved when the driver began backing up.  There were two adults and three minors in the truck at the time of the fatal accident. 

This is nearly as close to pure negligence as you can get.  The driver knew very young children were playing where he was intending to drive his truck.  He failed to make sure the kids had actually moved and the area was safe for him to back up.  Children under 6 years old cannot have any fault attributed to them under Washington law.  They simply are too young and their brains have not developed enough to know right from wrong and be held legally accountable for their actions.  

Drivers have a higher duty of care when children are present near a roadway or vehicle.  Driver must use extra caution and go above and beyond what they normally would do with an adult in the same circumstances.  Here, the driver should have made absolute sure he observed the location of each child that was behind his truck standing somewhere safe before he moved his truck.  He failed to do that and as a result killed a little 2 year-old girl.  

The repercussions for the driver will likely be devastating.  He may face criminal charges.  He will certainly be facing a civil wrongful death claim from the girl's parents.  He faces possible jail time and the threat of financial ruin because of one careless moment.  

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