• November 28, 2022

Carmie Nelson Killed, Helen Nelson Injured in School Bus Accident on Hwy 52 near Carpio, ND

Carpio, ND — November 15, 2022, Carmie Nelson and Helen Nelson were injured in a collision with a school bus on Highway 52 near Carpio.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:10 p.m. on Highway 52 at 209th Street NW, around five miles east of town. Preliminary investigation suggests a Lewis and Clark School District bus was headed north on 209th Street when the driver stopped stopped at the Hwy 52 intersection, then proceeded without yielding to the Nelsons' westbound Ford Edge. The Ford and the bus collided in the highway's travel lanes.

Carmie Nelson, 89, and Helen Nelson, 90, were transported to a Minot hospital where Carmie Nelson died on November 19. No one aboard the school bus was injured.

Investigators say the bus driver may face charges after the accident.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Carmie and Helen Nelson Accident near Carpio

It seems like investigators feel the bus driver's failure to yield was the primary factor in this terrible incident. I have no reason to doubt their conclusion, but as with any accident it's important to investigate carefully and make sure all the details are accounted for--mostly to ensure that everyone's on the same page, but also because clear facts and evidence would be necessary to hold the school district accountable for its employee's recklessness.

Carmie Nelson Killed, Helen Nelson Injured in School Bus Accident on Hwy 52 near Carpio, ND

Basically, holding government agencies responsible for crashes like this involves unique challenges. Just about every state, county, and city has specific rules for how anyone can seek damages when one of its employees hurts them. There are rules about how to file a claim, how much time one has to do it, and other hurdles victims and families must overcome to succeed in their case. For example, many jurisdictions have a deadline for someone to submit a notice of intent that they mean to file a claim, which could be as long as 6 months or as short as 45 days. If victims and families miss that deadline, they're barred from filing at all. What's more, the jurisdiction rarely offers that information freely.

I'm not saying the victims' loved ones will necessarily take this matter to court, only that if they chose to then they should be aware of the pitfalls in their path. The preliminary reports may seem pretty straightforward, but more often than not getting people the help they need and deserve is anything but. That's why it's crucial to take the needed steps as soon as possible.

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