School board seeks to dismiss lawsuit over 11-year-old boy’s death

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Hasani Wesley

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board filed a motion this week asking a judge to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of Hasani Wesley, an 11-year-old boy killed two years ago while crossing the road to catch a school bus, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Hasani, a sixth-grader at East Forsyth Middle School, had missed the school bus the morning of Dec. 19, 2012. The bus had turned around to pick him up on Old Hollow Road. As Hasani crossed the road, he was hit by a Jeep driven by Billy Roger Bailey, a minister in Walkertown. Hasani was thrown 125 feet and later died from multiple fractures and internal injuries. Hasani’s death spurred new legislation named after him — the Hasani N. Wesley Students’ School Bus Safety Act — that toughened penalties for drivers passing stopped school buses.

David Hough and Larry Little, attorneys for Hasani’s parents, Odina and Norris Wesley, filed a lawsuit in December against the school board and Bailey.

On Tuesday, Allen Smith, an attorney representing the school board, filed a motion to dismiss in Forsyth Superior Court. Smith said in the motion that Forsyth Superior Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case and that the school board shouldn’t be sued because of sovereign immunity.

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