First-grader Anthony Scott was involved in a fatal bus accident on Monday in the parking lot of his Memphis Community school, Oakshire Elementary. He was struck by a day care bus from Pee Wee Wisdom Child Care Center just shortly after school was dismissed for the day.
The Memphis bus accident was the most recent in a line of legal problems that have plagued the Pee Wee Wisdom Child Care Centers. In 1999, a 2-year-old boy died in a Pee Wee vehicle when he was left inside in scorching temperatures. A former Pee Wee operator was criminally convicted for embezzling half a million dollars intended to aid poor children. Despite these and other issues, the Pee Wee Wisdom Child Care Center, with two Memphis locations, maintains a three-star-rating according to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
Investigators aren’t sure how the fatal bus accident happened and haven’t released the name of the driver involved. Anthony was struck by the front of the bus, but officials aren’t sure how he got there and were taking measurements of the scene during the rain on Monday.
Tennessee requires all school bus drivers to have and maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Drivers must pass both a knowledge and skills test prior to driving school children in a commercial vehicle. School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone to call or text while driving. But, the Tennessee rules and regulations were not enough to save the Memphis first-grader on Monday; attentive, careful driving is everyone’s responsibility, every time you get behind the wheel.
When the negligence of another person or company results, as it did at Oakshire, in a tragic and most likely preventable death, Tennessee law allows the surviving family members to pursue a lawsuit against that person or company. A Memphis wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring an individual back, but it can give family members the necessary resources to rebuild after a tragic loss.
Source: The Commercial Appeal, “6-year-old boy struck, killed by day care van outside Oakshire Elementary,” 21 November 2011