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Parents of child killed in school bus crash are frustrated with school district

Parents of child killed in school bus crash are frustrated with school district

The parents of a Treasure Coast boy who died in a school bus crash four years ago say they’re at odds with the St. Lucie County School District.

A jury awarded them millions of dollars last year.

But they say the school district has not given them a dime so far.

School children on the bus were heading home that afternoon March 2012 when everything changed in a split second.

Their school bus collided with a semi-truck at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and Midway Road west of Ft. Pierce, sending children flying out of their seats.

Aaron Beauchamp, 9, died in the crash. A number of other children were injured.

“It crushed me, losing Aaron. He was such an integral part of our family. The laughter and the joy in our household is silent. There’s no more joy and laughter anymore. We miss that terribly,” said Simon Beauchamp, Aaron’s father.

Aaron’s parents sued the school district and were awarded $8.7 million in 2015, but still have not received a dime from the school district.

“I don’t think people really realize what we’re going to have to go through,” said Lilly Beauchamp, Aaron’s mother.

Under Florida law, the legislature needs to approve a claims bill for the parents to collect such a large amount of money from the school district.

They say if the school board would join them to support the claims bill, it would be easier to get lawmakers to approve it.

“They should be walking with us and saying we support this, we support the Beauchamp family,” Lilly Beauchamp said.

Instead, they feel the school board has turned its back on them.

“It saddens me because I know they should be doing the right thing,” Lilly Beauchamp said.

“Even though we had a trial, they’re going to keep fighting the family of this poor child and it’s just unfair. Honestly it’s shocking. It’s kind of adding insult to injury or rubbing salt in a wound,” said Matt Haynes, the Beauchamps’ attorney.

The school district declined comment, but referred us to their attorney, Allen Sang.

He says if the claims bill passes—the school board has only so much money, and might have to look at the possibility of cutting such things as classroom teachers or programs.

The Beauchamps plan to file the claims bill soon and hope Florida lawmakers will approve it in 2017.

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