A teenager who stuck his head out of a party bus in New Jersey was killed in an accident. Could a wrongful death lawsuit follow?
Daniel Fernandez, 16, was headed to a friend's Sweet 16 birthday party on a double-decker party bus filled with about 65 people. En route to the party, Fernandez was apparently goofing around and stuck his head out a roof hatch on top of the bus, reports the New York Daily News.
Just as he stuck his head out, the bus drove under an overpass. Fernandez's head hit the bottom of the overpass, and he was killed.
Prior to the teen's death on the party bus, a security guard onboard the bus said he warned the teens several times to stop messing with the roof hatch, reports the Daily News. However, the security guard said he left for a moment to talk about the heat in the bus with the driver on the lower level, and that's when the accident reportedly happened.
When asked if the underage kids were drinking alcohol, the security guard didn't offer very much, saying that "If they drink, I don't know," reports the Daily News. The guard did offer that passengers were checked for booze before they boarded, and that no alcohol was served on the bus.
The alleged attempts to stop kids from messing around with the roof hatch may seem like enough to keep children safe in most circumstances. However, the person making these statements was a paid security guard for the party bus company.
It may eventually be alleged that the security guard's job was to ensure the roof hatch remained closed, regardless of the number of warnings given; and to make sure that no one was drinking, even if a check had been performed prior to boarding.
Then again, it could be argued that Daniel Fernandez assumed the risk of his allegedly foolish behavior when he stuck his head out of the party bus.
It's still not clear whether anything could have been done to prevent the teen's party bus death. However, the security guard's statements to the New York Daily News could potentially be part of a wrongful death lawsuit against the guard or the party-bus company, if Fernandez's relatives choose to go that route.
- Wake held for N.Y. teen killed in N.J. party bus accident (The Associated Press)
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