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Two years after Kaylee's death, suit seeks to further safety goals

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 3/25/2014 4:15 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — The family of Kaylee Derks, an 11-year-old girl killed after getting hit by a school bus in 2012, hasn't given up the fight to make streets safe.

The family also is going forward with a legal fight for damages and changes to protect children in local neighborhoods.

Kaylee was killed March 16, 2012, after she got off the school bus at Dean La Mar Allen Elementary School, only to be run over by the bus at Ann Road and Pebble Rock, close to her home.

Months after the vigils and memorials -- and a News 3 special report on street safety-- a Metro police report concluded the bus driver, Leslie Rice, was not at fault and Kaylee may not have seen the bus coming.

Nearly two years, a lawsuit names the Clark County School District, the driver and the bus makers as defendants.

Attorney Mark Henness, who is handling the lawsuit for Kaylee’s family, says someone needs to take responsibility for the death. That means taking a closer look at how buses are built -- especially how a child may trapped underneath -- routes and drivers’ training.

“We put these bus drivers in complete control and safety of our children,” Henness said. “We need to make sure they're constantly aware of what they're doing, understand their routes, aware of their routes.”

Damages for injury or death are capped by law at $100,000, says Henness. But for Kaylee’s parents, money isn't the goal anyway. It is to honor the memory of a little girl who smiled, laughed and looked out for others.

“We're her voice,” Katie Geeve said. “We're making sure other children are going to be safe because of what happened to her could help other people.”

News 3 reached out to the School District, the driver and the bus manufacturer, who said they had no further comment on the ongoing suit. However the driver did tell News 3 he has lived through a nightmare since the incident.

The Geeves have seen change in the bus route where Kaylee lost her life, but they say other neighborhoods should also be given another look.


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