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Boy died walking a mile to school and now his parents are suing

Steven Canipe Jr. was hit by a car on his way to school.
Steven Canipe Jr. was hit by a car on his way to school. WBTV

The parents of 14-year-old Steven Canipe Jr are suing the Gaston County School District for wrongful death, claiming his one-mile walk to school was too dangerous, reports the Charlotte Observer’s news partner, WBTV.

Canipe was walking on New Hope Road to Cramerton Middle School in October 2014 when a car traveling 45 mph hit and killed him.

The road there is without sidewalks and there is no crosswalk. The lawsuit claims the mother requested a school bus pick up her son, but the school district denied the request because the Canipes lived less than a mile from the school.

His mother says the boy would still be alive if the school district did what it was legally charged to do. The lawsuit claims it is the responsibility of the district to provide transportation to students unable to safely commute to and from school.

Canipe’s lawyer told WBTV that since it is the law for students to attend school, the burden is on school districts to provide transportation to make that happen.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said there have been changes made to the area where Canipe was hit, including an extension of the school speed zone of 35 mph.

The lawsuit is suing in excess of $10,000 for damages. The family wants a trial by jury. The lawsuit is currently in the Federal Courts waiting to be heard.

Gaston County School District had no comment about the lawsuit other than to say it received it, says WBTV.

An Observer story published Oct. 25, 2014, the day after the teen died, said he darted in front of a vehicle that, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol. He was a half mile from Cramerton Middle School at the time. Canipe was taken to CaroMont Regional Medical Center in critical condition. He was then airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

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