Police are still investigating a Tuesday evening crash between a car and a 12-year-old boy on a bicycle, leaving the child with critical injuries. Police say that just before 8:00 p.m. that evening, the boy rode his bicycle with several friends near 45th Avenue and Olive in Glendale when a silver sedan approached the boy and struck him while the boy was within a crosswalk.
Friends of the 12-year-old and witnesses say the driver of the car, a blonde white male, never slowed down before the impact and fled the scene after the crash. These same witnesses have reported that the drive of the car appeared to be on his cell phone at the time of the impact and that after he struck the boy, he still did not slow down and left the scene at full speed.
Police were called to the scene of the crash and the boy was transported by air ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital that night, where he continues to receive treatment today. He is described by his aunt as having sustained head, stomach, and leg injuries in the crash. Though he was initially intubated, the same aunt says he is now breathing on his own and that the boy’s condition is improving.
By all accounts, this young boy is lucky to have survived the crash. Early reports indicate that the boy was obeying all relevant traffic laws and was in a crosswalk as he was supposed to be when he was hurt. It appears that the cause of the collision was the negligence of a driver who was distracted, possibly by a cell phone, and failed to notice the boy on his bicycle.
Arizona law holds a negligent driver responsible for any injuries that driver causes, even if those injuries are to a pedestrian or a bicyclist. The law may impose criminal and traffic penalties which can include fines, suspension or loss of a driver’s license, community service, or even incarceration. But the penalties imposed by the state are not all that a negligent driver may face.
In addition to criminal and traffic violations, the negligent driver may find himself faced with a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of his victim. This can include a claim for any damages suffered by the victim or his family, including medical bills. Arizona law makes a driver liable for the medical, surgical, and physical therapy bills of his victim when the driver is negligent or reckless and causes injuries.