According to the Associated Press, a Florida A&M member of the school's band, initials R.C., was killed after being hazed. Hazing typically involves abuse and humiliations as a way of initiating a person into some sort of group. These types of activities are common on college campuses around the United States. The hazing took place on a charter bus and the wrongful-death lawsuit is being filed by the parents of the victim against the driver of that bus. Exact details of the incident have not been confirmed, but there are certain indicators of what hazing practices could have caused the death.
One hazing ritual that was common among A&M band members was to have the "pledges" (new band members) run up and down the aisle of the bus while other band members hit and kicked them. If the pledge falls, they could be stomped on and dragged to the front of the bus to repeat the practice again. Another possible hazing activity that could have taken place was called "the hot seat." In this ritual, a pillowcase was placed over the nose and mouth of the pledge so that they could not breathe. They would then be asked a question. If they got the question right, they were allowed to breathe for a brief period of time. There was one other pledge the night of the fatality and he said that they treated R.C. much more harshly.
R.C. was known to be an outspoken opponent of hazing. His injuries were reported to be blunt trauma and severe bleeding which caused him to go into shock. The incident is being treated as a homicide, according to authorities. The reason the bus driver is being filed against is because bus company managers allegedly know about hazing rituals and made no effort to put a stop to them. In fact, it is reported that bus companies told their bus drivers to outright ignore the hazing going on during Florida A&M bus rides.
Hazing activities are no small matter and should never be treated like a joke. In this case, hazing activities led to the death of an innocent party. In all cases of wrongful death, an individual or company is held responsible for the death of another. R.C.'s parents claimed that if the bus driver would have done his duty and stopped the hazing, then R.C. would still be alive today. A Houston personal injury attorney with Arnold & Itkin may be able to help you if one of your loved ones has died a wrongful death. Our attorneys not only serve those in Houston, but nationwide. If someone you know has been wrongfully killed, contact a Houston wrongful death lawyer from our firm today.