Four-year-old Christopher Robles died Friday after he was struck by a van in the street in front of Hartsfield Elementary School in Leon County (Tallahassee) Florida. Christopher got out of his mother’s Jeep Cherokee and then ran into the street according to news reports. Christopher was hit as he was crossing the street by a teacher (Cynthia Roy) who was driving a Chevorlet Van. Christopher did not use the crosswalk. According to Tallahassee Police Department Officer David McCranie – the child appeared to have darted out in front of traffic. Officer McCranie noted that speed or alcohol did not appear to have any part in this accident. You can read about this tragic incident at 4 Year Old Hit by a Van at Hartsfield Elementary School in Leon County – Tallahassee, Florida.
It is a sad and tragic event for both the Robles Family and the Roy Family. It is interesting to note that teachers face challenges everyday in the classroom. In addition, teachers have to drive into a school zone every day as part of work. School zones are loaded with children like Christopher Robles and it can be a challenge each day for a teacher to pull his or her vehicle safely into a parking lot while making sure to watch out for children, teachers, and parents.
In Florida, a 4 year old child cannot be held negligent for his or her own actions. A parent can be held negligent for negligent supervision. Other drivers can also be held negligent as well. Florida has a concept called comparative negligence. In other words, a jury could ultimately determine that more than one person was at fault or negligent for an incident taking place. It should also be noted that under Florida law an investigating police officer does no get to be judge and jury for the cause of an accident in a civil case. Unless the police officer actually witnessed the incident, the police officer can be precluded with proper motion and argument from giving an opinion as to who the police officer believed was at fault or the cause of an accident.
Further investigation of the death of Christopher Robles will be completed by the Tallahassee Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.