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Fatal car accident occurs near victim's own high school

Safety discussions are now taking place between school administrators and traffic officials following the tragic death of a local teen. The female high school student, who had planned on attending Liberty University in Virginia, was the victim of a fatal car accident earlier this month.

About two hours after classes had finished for the day at her high school, an 18-year-old student was attempting to cross a busy street near the school when an SUV fatally struck her. The accident caused severe injuries and the young pedestrian died the next day at a nearby hospital. Police are still investigating the incident.

Similar to many intersections in Virginia, the intersection in question requires extra caution as pedestrian traffic - due to the nearby high school - can be heavy at times. Several restaurants sit across the street from campus, making the roadway a popular spot to cross on foot. Last spring, another accident occurred around the same location, also involving a pedestrian.

No crosswalk currently exists at that intersection, worrying some local officials. One local police officials said that safety has not been a big concern recently, but the issue will be revisited in light of the accident.

The 54-year-old driver of the SUV stopped at the scene and cooperated with authorities. However, if the investigation finds negligence on the part of the driver, the victim's family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. If won, the claim could entitle the victim's survivors to hospital costs, funeral expenses, or compensation for the victim's pain and suffering.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Garinger student fatally injured in traffic accident," April Bathea, March 14, 2012

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