NEWPORT, R.I. (WHDH/AP) — A mother and daughter from Rhode Island who were injured when a school bus crashed in Berkley, Massachusetts, have sued the woman authorities say was drunk when she caused the wreck.
Tiffany Briere, 37, of Tiverton,, and her 11-year-old daughter filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Christy Gilpatrick, according to the Newport Daily News.
Attorney Brian Cunha says Briere sustained a gash to her forehead that required 150 staples and her daughter suffered a fractured her elbow.
“You’ve seen those movies where a bus goes off the road and rolls over a couple of times,” he said. “Imagine being the person in that bus.”
They are seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Briere and her daughter were among about two dozen people on the bus when it crashed Saturday night on Route 24. They were returning to Tiverton from La Salette Shrine in Attleboro.
Gilpatrick, of Warren, is free on bail after pleading not guilty on Monday to a slew of charges including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, second offense, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol resulting in serious bodily injury.
While speaking with police, Gilpatrick allegedly admitted to drinking before the crash, failed a series of field sobriety tests at the scene, and twice registered a blood alcohol content that was nearly twice the legal limit.
Gilpatrick left her lane, hit a black car and caused that vehicle to swerve in front of the bus, which caused it to veer off the road and into the woods, according to prosecutors.
Briere and her daughter are the first to file a civil suit against Gilpatrick, claiming negligence.
“This is a permanent injury to a woman’s face, her 11-year-old daughter,” Cunha said. “This is not minor. This is major.”
A Gofundme page has since been set up to assist the crash victims.
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