HIGHLAND (CBSLA) — Isabella Sanchez has always been doted on.
She’s the baby of the family.
But these days, that doting is more out of necessity — not just love.
“We live for Isabella. my husband and I, we live for her. we’re her arms, we’re her eyes, we’re her body,” mom Carina told CBS2’s Tina Patel.
Isabella has been confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak since 2012.
She was 6-years-old then and running for her school bus when she was hit by a car.
It happened at 9th Street and Highland.
Carina admits her daughter had jaywalked. She said it was something many kids in the area did.
“People should always follow rules. me, as a mother, didn’t realize how dangerous this was.” she said.
But the girl’s attorney says the school bus company — Durham School Services — should have realized how dangerous it was. He argues the school should have followed their own rules and alerted the school and the district to the constant jaywalking.
“The school district 100 percent relies on the bus company to report and fix these unsafe conditions that were out there,” says attorney Geoff Wells.
A jury ruled that Carina was partly to blame for the accident but also found the bus company was mostly to blame.
The jury awarded Isabella just over $36 million in damages. Her family says the money will make sure she gets the care and therapy she will need for the rest of her life.
They also want the bus company and parents to make sure safety is their top priority.
“I think getting the word out may save a child’s life or save their life from ending up in a wheelchair like Isabella,” says Wells.
“Use those crosswalks, use those lights. Because they’re there for a reason,” said Carina, “We don’t want this to happen to any other kid.”
Patel tried to get a comment from bus company but said they declined to comment on the verdict.