Agreement reached in accident suit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

A settlement has been reached in the case of girl who was struck and killed by a Dallas County school bus.

Katerricia Tyvonne Hardy. who would have turned six this past February, was hit by a school bus Nov. 30, 2001. She died the same day at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

Richard H. Taylor &045;&045; a partner with Mobile-based law firm Taylor, Martino & Hedge &045;&045; filed suit on behalf of Katerricia’s parents, Jennifer and Jesse Hardy, in Dallas County alleging her death resulted from the negligence of the school bus driver who failed to follow proper procedure.

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The bus was owned and operated by the Dallas County School Board.

Last week, both parties attended a mediation in Birmingham in which Taylor said the bus wasn’t equipped with an automatic guard. The guard requires children to cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus allowing the driver to see them clearly. Since the guard wasn’t there, the bus driver had the responsibility of ensuring children safely crossed the road before driving on.

After negotiations with the driver’s insurance carriers, a settlement was reached for a confidential amount.

In a statement, Taylor noted that after the suit was filed, the Alabama Department of Education chose to add the extendible arms to school buses.