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Severe Personal Injuries: Child Hit at 33 mph

Thursday, May 22, 2008By Richard Alexander

In November 2007, a BMW driving at 33 mph in the school zone next to Morrill Middle School in San Jose hit 12 year-old Rasheed Hilson at 4:20 p.m. on a bright, sunny day.

Rasheed had just left a school basketball game with classmates. He ran down the driveway of the school and he was looking to his right as he focused on catching his bus coming down Cropley Avenue. The bus stop was located across the street from the school and Rasheed, acting as an ordinary 12 year-old can be expected to act, ran out into the street without looking. The driver of the BMW, Kim Tran, claims she never saw Rasheed, although she did see other children outside the school.

The BMW never braked, never slowed and continued driving over 150 yards at the same speed, before turning at the corner and stopping.

Ms. Tran later claimed she turned the corner and stopped because she saw her fractured windshield and thought that an adult had thrown a heavy rock at her car. The impact had made her car shake.

The video reconstructions show the state-of-the-art evidence available today to analyze 1. What happens when a car hits a pedestrian and 2. What the driver could have seen if she was paying attention to her driving.

The data required for this reconstruction program includes: the damage to the car, injuries to the child [in this case fractures to the left leg and a massive skull fracture] and the position of the 12 year-old boy on the road after the crash.

Although the BMW driver says she "never saw Rasheed" this reconstruction shows what could be seen through the windshield of the BMW.

When Rasheed was hit by the BMW, he was running at 10 mph in a perpendicular path to the car. His body was accelerated to 33 mph. His left hip dented the hood over the headlight, his skull fractured the windshield near the center and he was thrown over the top of her car. Tran never braked or slowed, assuring that Rasheed was accelerated to nearly 33 mph at impact. Here is what happened to Rasheed when he was hit. View Video Here.

If Kim Tran had been driving at 25 mph in the school zone when she saw children present outside the school, using the same starting points seen in the 33 mph video, Rasheed would have made it safely across the street.

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