Bus Accident Settlement

June 19, 2008 9:10:55 PM PDT
A Valley family whose two year old daughter was killed in late 2006 after being run over by a school bus has settled a lawsuit.The plaintiff's lawyer says the 1 million dollar settlement was fair. The agreement was reached after 2 weeks of trial just before closing arguments.

The mother of 2 year old Audryana Gonzales couldn't even get the words out to describe her baby girl.

Angelica Gonzales, Mother: "Well my daughter was a very unique person um and uh."

Right before the case would've gone to a jury, a last minute deal was struck.

Arturo Gonzalez, Family's Attorney: "The real reason this lawsuit was filed and it was part of the settlement we would like to communicate to the parents of kids who are in headstart that they have a right to have their child picked up and dropped off on their side of the street."

Highway Patrol Officers said the child darted out in front of the bus near their Sanger home in November of 2006. The victim was with her mother picking up an older sister who was riding the bus.

The family's attorney says the Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission agreed during settlement to tell parents when they sign into headstart if their child is not dropped off on their side of the street, they will be escorted by the bus driver across the street if they are below the 8th grade.

The Fresno County E.O.C issued this statement to action news quote "this was a tragic accident and we would once again like to express our deepest condolences to the family. Our agreement to settle was the most prudent way of resolving this matter and moving forward. EOC stands by its employees. By this settlement neither side admitted any fault for the accident."

Audryana's father says the loss has left quite a void.

David Gonzales, Victim's Father: "It's your child, you love them, you protect them, and you do what you can to for them. You know in life that you are going to do things with them in the future but knowing that was cut short from us. What we have to do now is just stay together and of course keep praying."

The family says a settlement of 300 thousand dollars was offered before the trial followed by 750 during trial the seven figure offer ended the case Thursday.

A portion of the settlement money will be put in a separate account for Audryana's sister who witnessed the accident.


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