The story in the Joplin Globe of a Pittsburg girl, her mother and her dad
is enough to break your heart and at the same time reaffirm a belief in
the goodness of most people. The girl was just 13 years old when she was
killed with her mom in 2009 by a drunk driver in a car accident. The girl
died at the scene of the crash; her mom died of injuries a few days later
at a hospital.
The intoxicated driver survived the U.S. 69 rear-end crash. Two years later,
a Cherokee County judge overseeing a
wrongful death civil trial determined that the man was 100 percent responsible for the
needless fatalities. The girl’s father was awarded $5.7 million,
according to news accounts at the time.
Since the tragedies, the father has established a memorial fund in the
names of his wife and daughter. The fund donates to the Riverton school
his girl attended and that his wife – a teacher in the school district
– cared so much about. Not long ago, the fund donated approximately
$20,000 to help pay for enhancements to programs for music, drama, cheerleading,
sports and reading.
It warms the heart to learn of an area man dedicated to preserving the
memories of his loved ones and doing all he can to improve the school
and promote the interests and values the pair he held so dear.
It’s good, too, to see that the man pursued a full measure of justice
for the person responsible for those two entirely preventable deaths.
The father and husband honored his wife and daughter in that way as well.
The wrongful death litigation process can be an emotionally difficult one.
Experienced attorneys can discuss with you the circumstances of your loss
and the legal options available to you.
Source: Joplin Globe,
“Memory of mother, daughter alive in Riverton School District,” Katie Lamb, Oct. 17, 2014