Parents of teen struck and killed by car sues township, school district for wrongful death

By Jim Boyle | Oct 20, 2014

The parents of a teenager killed in a car accident in 2012 say that the location of his bus

stop, lack of crossing guards and faulty traffic control systems contributed to his death, according to a wrongful death suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The estate of Ryan Viola, managed by his parents, Alice and Samuel Viola, seeks damages in excess of $150,000 from defendants including Bensalem Township, the township police department, the Bensalem School District and Armour and Sons Electric, the company tasked with performing maintenance on the township's traffic lights.

Viola, 17, was struck by a silver Mitsubishi Galant on Nov. 29, 2012, and died two days later from his injuries. According to the complaint, he was crossing a street to reach his bus stop for his ride to the Bucks County Technical School when the car hit him.

The plaintiffs say that the school district and police department agreed to place the bus stop at a busy intersection with the speed limit set at 40 miles per hour, despite the availability of safer spots nearby.

The township, police department and school district are also blamed for not scheduling crossing guards to manage crossings at the stop util after Viola's bus departed. As a high schooler, Viola's day starts earlier than the middle and elementary school students, yet the crossing guard was not available until later in the morning.

According to the complaint, Viola also pushed the pedestrian crossing button, but the system malfunctioned and did not switch the traffic light to red. The complaint says that Armour and Sons Electric negligently failed to inspect the wiring and repair any malfunctions.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys at the Law Office of Louis Busico.

The federal case ID is 2:14-cv-05914-RB.

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