New reports from Goldsboro indicate that authorities have no plans to file charges against the driver of the daycare bus that stuck and killed a wheelchair-bound teacher on Feb. 9. The driver is 56 years old and the news was shared by the District Attorney's Office of of Wayne County.
The fatality occurred in the parking lot of Meadow Lane Elementary when a driver employed by the daycare center Small World struck the man as he was wheeling his chair from the parking lot into the school. The wheelchair-bound man, a teacher and youth pastor, was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The second grade teacher had been at the school for two years. He recently married and his widow is pregnant with the couple's baby. Friends of the couple started a GoFundMe page to cover funeral costs.
The fact that there will be no criminal charges filed in the case will have no effect on any potential civil action that could arise from the tragedy. This is an important distinction, as many people in similar circumstances believe that the two sets of proceedings are intrinsically linked.
While evidence used in a criminal case may be used to bolster a claim for civil damages, an injured person, or the survivors of the deceased, do not have to rely on the criminal courts in order to pursue compensation for their losses.
Additionally, the burden of proof for civil cases is significantly lower than those that wind up in the criminal justice system.
Source: New York Daily News, "Beloved wheelchair-bound North Carolina teacher struck and killed by day care bus," Laura Bult, Feb. 10, 2016