The family of a Harlingen, Texas, middle school student who died last year after falling from a bus emergency door on a school trip has filed a $100 million wrongful-death lawsuit.
The Valley Morning Star reports that the family contends the death of Gabriel Miranda, 13, resulted from negligence on the part of the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District.
Named as defendants in the suit are Harlingen superintendent Arturo Cavazos, teachers A.J. Ayala and Michael J. Carlsted, bus driver Laura Castro Ruiz and several others.
The suit asserts that Gabriel “fell, or was pushed out of the emergency exit door" of a school bus that was traveling on Interstate 2/U.S. Expressway 83 in Edinburg, Texas.
Students from Vernon Middle School were on a school field trip when the incident occurred.
The lawyers for the Miranda family say the bus was traveling at 65 miles per hour down the interstate highway. They say the bus traveled several miles before pulling over to the side of the road after the boy had fallen to the roadway.
When police officers arrived, they found a passerby had pulled off the road, and he was cradling Gabriel's body, which showed no vital signs.
The lawsuit says investigators for the family have found witnesses among the riders who say the boy fell. Hidalgo County officials ruled that Gabriel's death was a suicide.
The family contends Edinburg police officials ruled Gabriel committed suicide even before Hidalgo County Coroner Norma Jean Farley reached her autopsy conclusion.
The parents dispute the finding that their son committed suicide, saying he showed no signs of depression and was excelling in school.