ENTERPRISE, Ala (WDHN)— A lawsuit has been filed against the Enterprise Board of Education and an elementary principal after being accused of neglecting the safety of a child who was hit by a truck while walking home from school.
Jessica Bassett, the mother of the victim 6-year-old Frankie Bassett, is accusing the Enterprise Board of Education and Pinedale Elementary School principal Harrison Mims, of breaching their duty to keep her son and other students safe and supervised.
The lawsuit, filed by Bassett, states that on August 17, 2022, Frankie Bassett and several other young children were left alone at a bus stop, an experience that allegedly left him frightened. After this incident, Jessica Bassett arranged to have Frankie walk home with his 13-year-old brother.
According to Bassett’s suit, on August 30, 2022, Pinedale Elementary violated its departure policy and Jessica Bassett’s wishes, allowing Frankie to leave the school grounds and walk home by himself. He had never walked home alone before.
While walking down Plaza Drive, a four-lane highway with no sidewalks, Frankie was hit by a truck and dragged down the road. After coming to a stop, multiple bystanders attempted to help Frankie and he was taken to the emergency room.
Per Bassett, at the hospital, Frankie was found to have a concussion, a broken wrist, and severe bruising. Since the incident, Frankie has shown multiple symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, as well as PTSD.
He forgets things easily, and when we’re in a parking lot he will just freeze up when he hears a car. He gets dizzy and can’t let go of my handJessica Bassett, Baxley Maniscalco Attorneys at Law Press Release
According to a press release put out by Bassett’s Attorneys, police body cam footage is believed to show Frankie walking alone from the school. They plan to call the video into evidence during legal proceedings.
Jessica Bassett is requesting $1 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages be paid.
Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Dr. Zel Thomas said Monday was the first they had heard of the suit, and there was no comment from the board.
Dr. Thomas also said the Enterprise Board of Education Attorney had been notified of the situation.
Stay with WDHN for updates.