The Meadville car accident occurred near 7 am. The boy was reportedly going from the Fairmont Apartments to a bus stop on Willow Street when he entered the roadway. Police report that he emerged from nearby woods and ran in front of a car driven by 25-year-old Mark Peirsel, of Alden Street in Meadville.
Police report the boy was wearing dark colored clothing and that it was dark and raining at the time of the accident. They say they do not intend to charge Mr. Peirsel with any motor vehicle code violations in the Crawford County pedestrian accident.
The initial police reports certainly paint a picture that suggests the boy was responsible for the accident and this may be true. But it is important to remember that the police investigate with an eye toward criminal responsibility for vehicle code violations. Such an analysis can be very different from civil responsibility for injuries caused.
Civil responsibility can involve much more nuanced factors including an evaluation of sight lines, stopping distance, ambient lighting and other factors. When the injured boy’s age is factored in (the law assigns less responsibility to young people than it does to adults) there may well be a valid case to be made on behalf of the boy.
For now, our hopes are that the injured boy makes a full and rapid recovery and that he is back with his family soon.
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