A tragic accident in Houston, Texas, left an 8-year-old dead after crossing an intersection. Let’s explore the details of the incident with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.
On September 26, 2022, a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV hit an 8-year-old boy, Chase Delarios, riding his bike in Northeast Houston. Surprisingly, the Texas Department of Public Safety blamed the child for the unfortunate incident.
Delarios was riding his bike in a small Kingwood neighborhood at 4 PM when a woman driving a two-ton SUV hit the bicycle, resulting in fatal injuries to the child. The Emergency Services and police arrived at the accident scene, and the young victim was immediately taken to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The Hyundai SUV driver stayed at the accident scene to assist the police in their investigation. She told the law enforcement officers that she did not see the boy before her SUV hit the bicycle.
Fox News reported that when the crash happened, the SUV driver turned left at the intersection of Gallant Knight Lane and South Kings Mill Lane.
According to Sergeant Stephen Woodard, the boy was crossing an unmarked crosswalk.
The Department of Public Safety immediately blamed the child for the accident without further investigating the incident. They stated that the child was riding in an area deemed not safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
Bike Houston, Houston bike advocates, were furious at the news when they heard that the Texas DPS officials blamed an 8-year-old child for riding in an unsafe zone. BikeHouston started its investigation and posted the details on social media to prove they were wrong in their reporting.
BikeHouston, in their tweets, stated that the area where the crash occurred was not a dangerous zone for pedestrians and cyclists, and it was an intersection in a residential street. The bike advocates posted a wider street view of the crash site, suggesting a calm residential area with a lake in the middle and little traffic.
They tagged the Texas department of public safety in their tweet, asking whether their officials asked how fast the driver was going or did they check their phone records to see whether she was talking on the phone before the incident.
Upon further investigation by the local news station, they found that the three-way intersection had two stop signs on two of the crossings but was not in the westbound direction where the incident occurred.
According to Chase’s mother, there was no protected bike lane in the area, and other residents stated that the intersection made them uncomfortable for a long time.
The news station contacted the local police precinct about the stop sign, and James Mett, the police commissioner, stated that they had never received any complaints in the past, so they were unaware there wasn’t one. A few phone calls later, the police precinct said they would install the stop sign in a few days.
Not having a stop light is one of the ways that made the street unsafe. However, other elements increased the risk to pedestrians and cyclists. There was no sign to alert drivers of crossing pedestrians or cyclists or speed bumps, speed limit signs, raised crosswalks, or extended curbs.
State lawmakers in 2021 made the rules tough for drivers by bringing changes to the traffic laws making it easier to prosecute drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians, scooter users, and people riding bikes.
It is also the responsibility of the local officials to ensure there are plenty of signs on residential streets to help prevent accidents like the one that killed Chase Delarios. If the police precinct is now installing a stop sign, it suggests they want to avoid liability for future accidents.
In the “8-year-old Killed Riding a Bike in Houston incident”, the family may have a wrongful death claim against the government agency as they may be negligent for not putting adequate signs, which is why they must reach out to a qualified attorney for further investigations.
If you lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may qualify for compensation.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.