It is not known if the driver, a 40-year-old resident of Branson in northeast Colorado, was injured. There was also no information as to the condition of the other two surviving children in the vehicle beyond their ages—8 and 14—and the fact they were wearing seat belts, as was the driver.
However, the man's 9-year-old could not be revived and he died at the scene.
A report from this morning's edition of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado suggests that speed may have been a factor in the accident, which happened at around 7:45 am February 15th in the northbound lane of Colorado 389, about 6.5 miles north of Branson.
Reports from the Colorado State Patrol suggest that the man was driving with his 3 children when he became distracted by a cell phone. When he reached for it, the car ran off the road.
The posted speed limit on the stretch of highway where the accident happened was 65 mph. Master Sgt. Don Mercier indicated in a report published today that investigators suspect the car was travelling well in excess of the posted limit.
It was not revealed the circumstances that led to the man driving with his three children in the car, at such an early hour on a Sunday morning. There was no information on the children's mother, where she might have been at the time of the accident, or the relationship involving the children's parents at the time of the crash.
However such an event in a related context, if not necessarily relative to this particular case, does suggest the possibility of litigation if one parent of a child, or children subject to custodial agreement, causes harm to a child while in custody of that child.
Any injury suffered by, or the death of a child is a tragic, grief-filled event for any parent, regardless whether the parents are together, separated, or divorced. However, in the latter scenario the conduct of a parent with visitation privileges is under much closer scrutiny than, say, a parent presently involved in a loving and co-operative relationship with the other parent of the child.
Once that love, and co-operation is lost, the dynamic changes. Suddenly the grief-filled and heart-wrenching event that is the loss of a child is exacerbated by the neglect of the attending parent who, at that moment, is charged with the care and well being of that child.
The father and driver of the car grieves as only the one responsible can grieve. He was responsible for the occupants and will not only have to live with his son's death, but also the terror the accident would have caused the other two children in the car.
The child's mother will also be grieving. For not being there when it happened--a horrific sense of helplessness, for being helpless to prevent it. Such would be the grief of any parent, regardless of marital status.
The circumstances surrounding the particulars of this accident, beyond the accident itself, were not released, neither was any personal information. Was the man driving his kids to a distant church? Was their mother away on business? Did he have his kids for the weekend?
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Such anger, in such circumstances, could be a catalyst for triggering a lawsuit.
Car accidents happen every day. Sometimes there are two vehicles involved. Sometimes there are dozens. And sometimes there is only one. Regardless of the number, and the circumstance, there is usually a reason. In this case, a driver was allegedly driving too fast, and lost control of his vehicle when he was distracted by a cell phone and made the mistake of responding to it while the car was still moving.
A child died needlessly, and there is unimaginable grief. And anger. Sometimes that anger lands in the courts.