A 14 year old student athlete is dead following a Charlotte car accident involving a hit and run driver, and a driver who did not ensure that her passengers were properly restrained before getting on the road. Fourteen year old David Bell was killed when he was ejected from a vehicle operated by Ginna Stamps. Stamps was driving Bell and other teens home from a basketball game Saturday night when her vehicle was sideswiped by a vehicle that fled the scene. Stamps then lost control of her vehicle, skid across all lanes of I485, and hit the median, which caused her vehicle to flip, ejecting Bell and 2 other unrestrained teens. North Carolina Highway Patrol says it is following several leads to determine the identity of the hit and run driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the leading cause of death in the 3 to 14 year old age group is car accidents. A recent study has found that 46% of the nearly 5,600 children aged 14 and under that were killed in car accidents in 2008 were not properly restrained. It seems that almost every day, we read about young people who die in car accidents, and then we learn that their deaths likely could have been prevented had they buckled their seatbelts. Stamps, the parent of one of the teens ejected, and the person responsible for the safety of her passengers, was responsible to make sure all of her passengers were properly restrained before ever putting her car in drive. Even though Stamps was the victim of a hit and run, she is not without blame in the wrongful death of David Bell, and the serious injuries of the other teens that were ejected from her vehicle. At the moment, Stamps has only been charged with seatbelt violations, a mere 2 points on her license and a $25 fine, while Bell and his family are paying the ultimate price.
Our sympathies go out to David Bell's family. It is difficult to understand the unnecessary loss of such a young life, and also difficult to determine who should be held responsible. An experienced North Carolina car accident attorney can sort through the details and obtain appropriate compensation.