Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP
Truck owner faces criminal, civil charges for teen death

A California man will face criminal charges in connection with the alleged wrongful death of a teenager on his way to a birthday party. The man is facing two felony child endangerment counts for the 2012 incident, in which the teen was crushed by a vehicle.

Prosecutors have characterized the man as an immature adult who should not have been in charge of a group of children. He reportedly had been posting pictures and status updates on Facebook throughout the day of the accident.

Authorities report that the 42-year-old man asked a group of children ages 9 to 13 to help him push his vehicle after it ran out of gas. The man had failed to fuel his truck and boat/trailer rig before reaching the Lake Mendocino destination; as a result, the vehicle was stranded on an overpass. The children, along with the man and his wife, pushed the vehicle out of traffic, and then the woman went to get fuel at a nearby gas station. Even though the vehicle had been pushed to a safe location, the children were forced to continue pushing the truck to the top of an incline. The man had taken pictures of the kids pushing the vehicle to post on social media forums, thinking the image was funny, not unsafe.

Disaster struck when the vehicle reached the top of the grade and began moving downhill. The 13-year-old boy was crushed beneath the truck and trailer rig after slipping on the road surface. Witnesses said he yelled for the vehicle operator to stop the truck before his head and torso were crushed beneath the weight of the vehicle.

The couple responsible for the boy’s death are also the target of a civil lawsuit from the boy’s parents.

If your relative has been hurt or killed in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, consider seeking assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights and responsibilities, allowing your family to get the money you need and deserve.

Source:, “Petaluma man faces trial in death of boy” Glenda Anderson, Aug. 17, 2013

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