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Driver in boy's apparent wrongful death gets a year behind bars

"This man basically killed me." Those were the words of a father recently -- offered to the court during the sentencing of the 33-year-old man who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. The victim in the apparent case of wrongful death was the father's 3-year-old son.

Few can imagine the pain and grief parents suffer when they have lost a child because of someone else's negligence or recklessness. Criminal charges and a conviction may offer some level of relief, but it often falls short of providing closure that those who mourn may desire feel entitled to. Seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim may well be an option and deserves to be examined with the help of an experienced attorney.

At least the parents of Juan Andres Ruiz had the opportunity to put words to their grief in court. While the father described how he felt killed himself, the boy's mother expressed how difficult it was to be "looking at the man who killed my son."

Juan Andres Ruiz was struck and injured on a Friday morning last November. Prosecutors say the driver was rushing to work. The boy and his mother were on their way to his school bus stop and were crossing a driveway when the accident happened. The boy died on his way to the hospital.

The mother said after the accident that the driver had failed to stop at a stop sign and that if he had, her child would be alive today.

Police arrested the driver on misdemeanor charges including vehicular manslaughter, giving false information and driving without a license. He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge and prosecutors dropped the other charges against him.

Source: KNSD-TV, "Parents to Driver: 'You Took My Son's Life'," Monica Garske, Feb. 28, 2014

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