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New Brunswick Fire Department Director Facing Lawsuit

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Jonathan Hernandez2 years ago

The director of the New Brunswick fire department is facing a lawsuit after he admitted to driving carelessly and hitting three children.

Details about the Lawsuit against the Fire Chief

Multiple sources are reporting that a lawsuit has been filed against the director of the New Brunswick fire department after he admitted to driving carelessly when he hit three children who were walking in a crosswalk.

The fire chief, Robert Rawls, was fined $206 in 2014 as a result of the accident.

Chief Rawls was driving a sport utility vehicle that was owned by the city at the time of the accident in May of 2014 when he hit Jocelyn Pelaez, John Mejia, and Arly Melquiadez. All three of the children involved in the accident suffered broken bones.

The children were walking home from school when they were hit.

According to the lawsuit that was filed by Pelaez, Rawls has been involved in at least 18 separate accidents and was charged with seven motor vehicle violations before the accident happened in May.

The other two children that were injured have each filed their own lawsuit in the past.

Pelaez’s lawsuit has been filed against Rawls and the school district on January 29, and accused Rawls of driving carelessly and in a negligent manner.

The suit claims that the city and school were also at fault because they both failed to provide guards at the crosswalks at the intersection and failed to provide a safe means for the students to attend the public school.

Jennifer Bradshaw, a spokeswoman for the city, said that the city would not comment on the pending lawsuit.

Important Information about Pedestrians

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • More than one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 25 that were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.
  • A total of 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2012.
  • Pedestrians are about 1.5 times as likely to die as occupants of passenger vehicles. 


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