Updated on: 2/13/2019
A teenage girl was struck and killed on Sunday while crossing a street in Mead, Washington. Lylly Slayton, 16, suffered a laceration of the heart due to blunt impact to the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness rushed over to help her at the scene, but was unable to revive her.
Lylly was a beloved member of her local community. Pastor Wood of the Northwest Bible Church of Mead told mourners, “She loved to care for people and had a compassion for the needy.”
Deputies are still investigating the elderly driver who crossed the center line and struck Lylly. They will decide during the course of their investigation whether the driver should face charges of vehicular homicide.
The Northwest Bible Church of Mead had helped the Slayton family set up a GoFundMe page in memory of Lylly. It is available here.
Vehicular homicide and wrongful death cases
When someone is killed in a car accident, police conduct an investigation to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the driver. In Washington State, it is illegal to operate a vehicle negligently and recklessly, so a driver may have committed homicide by crashing their car into someone while drunk, high, or distracted by a cell phone.
Even if the police decide that criminal charges will not be filed after an accident, if the driver is at fault, the bereaved family of the victim may have a wrongful death case. Wrongful death cases take place in civil, not criminal, court; they are usually handled by personal injury attorneys, not prosecutors. The goal of civil injury cases is to seek restitution for victims of accidents; punishment for a violation of the law is handled separately in criminal court.
Resources for bereaved families
Davis Law Group provides free resources for the bereaved families of victims killed in car accidents. Attorney Chris Davis has spent over 20 years representing accident victims and their families. If you have a question about a recent accident, you are also welcome to fill out a contact form or call our legal intake team at (206) 727-4000
- More information about wrongful death accidents
- FREE BOOK: The Essential Guide to Wrongful Death in Washington State
- FREE BOOK: Am I Supposed to Feel Like This? What to Expect When Tragedy Devastates Your Life