Driveway Accident in Lee County Ends Life of 4 Year Old Girl (Jalessa Gonzalez) – Legal Rights and Responsibilities


In Lee County, Florida, a tragic accident recently took place that ended the life of a 4 year old girl (Jalessa Gonzalez). Police officials reported that Jalessa Gonzalez was hit by a pick up truck (Chevy Silverado) that was driven by Damon Drouin. The automobile accident took place on a driveway when Mr. Drouin was backing up the vehicle. Mr. Drouin did not have a driver’s license due to a history of criminal traffic violations. At the time of this incident, he was driving on a suspended license. See Child Struck, Killed When Truck Backs Over Her.

Unfortunately, driveway or back over accidents continue to be reported in Florida and the rest of the United States. The typical driveway is a danger zone for children especially since most drivers are backing up vehicles when departing from the home or apartment complex. Due to the height of a small child as well as the height of vehicles especially pick up trucks, there are blind spots for drivers backing out of a driveway when there are children present.

In Florida, a vehicle is considered a dangerous instrumentality. Because of this, the owner of a vehicle is legally responsible for the negligence of the driver. In evaluating a driveway or back over accident, there are several questions or issues that may arise including the following:

What precautions or safety measures were taken prior to entering the vehicle?

Did the driver check behind the vehicle and near the vehicle for children?

Who was supervising the child at the time of the incident?

What precautions or safety measures were taken when the vehicle was turned on and prior to backing up the vehicle?

Did the driver abruptly back up the vehicle or take a safer slow approach to backing up the vehicle?

Certainly, the loss of a child due to a driveway or back over accident is unexpected and a tremendous loss for the family, neighborhood, church, and community. Dealing with a personal injury or death to a child can be quite challenging for a parent. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Needs to Know – contains chapters on Automobile Accidents, Damages / Compensation, Medical Bills and Treatment, Homeowner’s Insurance, and other topics. You can receive a free book by clicking her – Free Child Injury Book – Answers for Parents. The book is also for $4.99 at the following sites: Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

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