Possible lawsuit in Fresno crash that injured children

A local attorney representing six children injured in a car crash involving a charter school vehicle, says a lawsuit isn't out of the question.
April 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local attorney representing six children injured in a car crash involving a charter school vehicle, says a lawsuit isn't out of the question.

Fresno mom Bernadette Marez says her entire life changed when Cameron Woods attempted to get away from police. Running a stop sign and slamming into an SUV carrying nine children, five of which are hers.

Marez said, "Had to install rails to go to the restroom, shower."

Her attorney Richard Watters says two of her sons, 13-year-old Evan Marez and 10-year-old Elias Marez were ejected from the vehicle, and spent several days in a coma recovering from multiple injuries.

Watters explained, "On Evan, the boy who was hurt the worst, he has a traumatic brain injury, left femur fracture with a rod in it, multiple facial fractures with surgery, right scapula fracture up higher."

He now uses a wheelchair to get around and is undergoing extensive therapy to walk and talk again. While his brother is forced to use a walker.

Watters says two other children were also injured, including Marez daughter Elaine and Daisy Hernandez Grandaughter Davina who were both riding in the back seat.

Watters added, "Elaine who was wearing the same seatbelt as her sister had a lacerated liver, broken collarbone, bleeding in the lungs and she has fractures of the spine."

The kids were on their way home from school on March 14th when the crash happened. Watters believes the driver who was hired by Anchor Academy Charter School to transport the kids - was in a hurry - and tried to fit more people inside the car then it could carry.

Watters said, "I know two of the boys I represent were not wearing their seatbelts, they were ejected and they by far suffered the most severe injuries."

He's now hired two engineering firms to reconstruct the accident and analyze the pattern of injuries to determine whether the driver hired by the school was also at fault.

In the meantime, the kids families have pulled them out of class until at least after spring break.

Marez added, "This day my kids said she was in a hurry and just make yourself fit."

Watters says he looked into the company the school says it contracts with, but couldn't find a transportation service under that name. When ABC30 called the school to find out, our calls were not returned.

Anchor Academy has since acquired an 80 passenger bus to transport students.


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