Christina McDonald, a mother from Gallatin, Tennessee, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sumner County Board of Education for the death of her 9-year-old daughter, Alexis Thompson.
On March 8th, Thompson’s step father, Dusty McDonald, picked the third grader up from an after-school program at Benny Bills Elementary on a revoked license. He had been drinking all day and was extremely intoxicated when he arrived at the school.
Dusty McDonald crashed his Chevy pickup into a tree and fled the scene, leaving 9-year-old Thompson trapped and critically injured, later dying at Sumner Regional Medical Center.
According to the civil lawsuit, school officials at Benny Bills were negligent in their duties when they allowed Thompson to leave with the intoxicated step-parent.
Dusty McDonald was not on the approved transportation list, and rather than calling Thompson’s mother, the program leader gave Thompson over and called police, even after smelling alcohol on the driver’s breath.
It is the program’s policy to allow children to leave only with people whose names are on the student’s emergency card, unless they show to be intoxicated, in which case they call another name from the card.
As of now, there is no district wide policy stating who may pick a student up from school. The practice has been to release a student to a parent unless notified of custody arrangements.
It is alleged that by allowing Thompson to leave with Dusty McDonald, they played a great factor in her death.
The school officials that have been cited in the lawsuit as the parties responsible have not given a comment about the incident, and the Board of Education has 30 days to file a response to the allegations.
Dusty G. McDonald was sentenced to 22 years in prison and will serve six years before he is eligible for parole.
If you have experienced a death of a loved one due to negligence, contact the attorneys at V&B for free information and a free evaluation on how we may help. Toll free: 877-724-7800.