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Mother of 12-year-old killed while walking home from school files lawsuit against school, city

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Posted at 9:52 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 10:40:10-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 12-year-old Marcel Yanders was hit and killed at the intersection of Albany Street and Hampshire Street walking home from school back in November.

"His heart was just so pure. It was just so pure," Channel Everheart, Marcel's mom, said, "They just peeled him from me. They just peeled him from me. I want him back so bad. I just keep thinking did he know how much I loved him."

Everheart has now filed a lawsuit seeking to hold those who may have contributed to her son's death accountable. She's suing the Buffalo Board of Education, Public School 18, the City of Buffalo, and the estate of the driver who struck her son.

"We've got a young boy who is really not at fault in any way. You've got people that are entrusted in making sure there's safety of the public. And quite honestly, those safety rules were violated here," David Wolff, a partner at Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro and Hall Injury Attorneys, said.

Marcel was normally bused to and from school, but school officials suddenly switched him to a "walker." Everheart reached out to the school to tell them Marcel had disabilities that made it unsafe for him to walk by himself.

The school still did not provide Marcel with transportation. He remained a walker, traveling about seven-tenths of a mile to and from school on foot every day.

"She was entrusting the school district to ensure that as they accept responsibility of that the student gets home safely. That simply was not done here," Wolff said.

The intersection contains two flashing red lights, four stop signs, fading crosswalks, and one yellow sign telling drivers to watch out for pedestrians.

"The intersections themselves, are they properly marked? Was this a situation where it was safe for the student to walk? The city obviously knows these kids are going to be walking home from school in conjunction with that," Wolff said, "What we're trying to do is make sure this doesn't happen again. That these types of students are protected when they go home every single day."

The City of Buffalo said it does not comment on pending litigation. The district did not respond to a request for comment.