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Parent Charged with Vehicular Homicide Reminder to Parents of Danger Posed to Child Pedestrians

November 20, 2011

Pedestrian accidents are amongst the most dangerous in Atlanta and other metro and rural areas throughout Georgia. When motorists speed, ignore crosswalks, run stop signs or stoplights and otherwise ignore basic traffic safety, it creates a substantial risk of causing a serious pedestrian accident.

By their nature, pedestrian accidents tend to result in extremely severe injuries and far too often fatalities. Pedestrian accidents are all the more tragic when the victim is a small child. Sadly, children are particularly susceptible to being involved in pedestrian accidents. A child is less able to judge the speed of traffic safely, more impulsive and inclined to run into traffic as well as smaller and more difficult to see for approaching motorists.

In many pedestrian accident cases involving children, children find themselves in dangerous situations without the close supervision of an adult. However, a pending vehicular homicide criminal case has focused attention on the role of parents in preventing pedestrian accidents involving small children. Raquel Nelson faces vehicular homicide charges for the second time in a Cobb County courtroom. The charges stem from a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in which her child pulled loose from her hand while they were jaywalking and was struck by a vehicle when he crossed the center median. Nelson turned down an offer to accept a conviction and one year probation.

The mother and her children, including her son who was killed, were engaged in a dangerous but common pedestrian practice in the greater Atlanta area. While their family crossed the street without the benefit of the crosswalk or signal, this is extremely common because in some areas pedestrians must walk as much as a mile after exiting a city bus to reach a crosswalk. When families in poor areas are forced to rely on public transportation to get back and forth from work and school, the additional time required to walk the substantial distance to a crosswalk can be dangerous when done at night.

The mother in this particular case was holding her child’s hand when crossing the roadway, but he got excited, pulled loose and ran into traffic. This incident is a tragedy for the mother, her child and the rest of her family but should also serve as a wake-up call to the dangers posed when pedestrians must choose between jaywalking on a busy street or walking long distances to obtain a safer place to cross. The unfriendly nature of many Atlanta roads and highways for pedestrians is so widely acknowledged that it was actually the subject of a documentary previously discussed in this blog. Atlanta has been called one of the most dangerous cities in America for pedestrians.

While there are pending plans to address pedestrian hazards in the greater Atlanta area, parents must be extremely vigilant. Parents and their children should wear bright-colored clothes with reflectors and keep their children within close physical control at all times when crossing the street. Jaywalking should be avoided whenever possible. If you or your child has been involved in a serious pedestrian accident in Atlanta or anywhere throughout the state of Georgia, the caring and experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to answer your questions and explain your rights. We have helped thousands of injured pedestrians throughout Georgia recover the compensation they deserve following even the most devastating pedestrian accidents.

Our Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.