She was at the perfect age for waving glow sticks in darkening air and delighting in their yellow and pink swirls. A play date was coming to an end for the 6-year-old. Her mom and sister were standing there with her, on the driveway at her friend's Shaler Township home, about an hour north of Pittsburgh.
The sounds of play were broken off by the roar of an engine and squealing tires. A car hurtling at more than twice the speed limit veered off the residential street, plowed over a mailbox and barreled through the yard. A neighbor said she heard a "terrible bang" and ran outside. On the ground she saw glow sticks scattered around the convulsing body of the little girl.
The Post-Gazette reported that the girl's mom had also been struck by the out-of-control car, but she was up in moments, trying to save her dying daughter. After ambulances arrived, the mom refused medical attention. Her little girl died a few hours later at a Pittsburgh hospital.
The speeding car had missed the little girl's sister.
In the moments after the approximately 10:30 p.m. crash, the 20-year-old man behind the wheel of the Ford Mustang reportedly tried to flee the nightmare scene he had just created, but was stopped by witnesses. Dejected, he searched for solace. “Mom, I just ruined my life,” he was heard saying into his phone.
Police reported that when they arrived, they smelled alcohol on the driver, who admitted he had downed at least 10 beers while watching football on TV. He told them that he had also smoked marijuana.
It seems possible that at this point that the young man's mother is also calling around for solace. You see, her son told police he had spent his drinking-smoking day with her.
In similar situations, many families forced to endure this kind of senseless tragedy find that a search for justice is part of their healing process.
The pursuit begins by speaking with an attorney experienced in representing families who want the person responsible to be held accountable. A skilled attorney investigates not only what caused the accident, but also what preceded it. Did an adult serve alcohol to someone underage? Did an adult allow an underage person impaired by alcohol and marijuana to drive? If so, can the adult be liable for damages?
No one yet knows the answers to those questions in this case. But getting answers and getting justice for our western Pennsylvania clients is the top priority at Dallas W. Hartman P.C., Attorneys at Law. Please see our Drunk Driving Accidents page for more information on how we can help you.