A young Polk County citizen was critically injured on Monday in a hit-and-run crash; however, this time, the victim was a child. Poinciana resident, 12-year old Myrthel Michel, was crossing a road near her home when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle who then fled the scene. Witnesses were able to offer a vague description of the vehicle (4-door sedan, import style, possibly silver) but so far, no identification has been made regarding the driver of the car. Michel was taken to Tampa General with critical injuries, and unfortunately, her parents were not notified of the incident until they had already reported her missing. After being told of what happened to their daughter, they headed to the hospital to be with her.
This situation brings to light a very important issue: childhood identification. Since minors are not required to carry ID on a daily basis (passport, driver’s license, etc.), they are often left unidentifiable if they are unconscious, or worse, deceased. That means until parents, relatives, or friends reach out to law enforcement looking for them as a missing person, they might have to go as an unknown victim. Think: if your child spends any time alone, such as walking to/from school or the bus stop, going to a friend’s home, etc., and they were involved in an incident, how would anyone know their name, your contact info, etc.?
We have a few simple solutions to this problem that can set your mind at ease…
· ID bracelet. These are relatively inexpensive, and can be worn on your child’s wrist daily, or whenever they will be in a situation where they might be alone. Bracelets can be engraved with their name, your contact number, and even with allergies or conditions that medical personnel might need to know about in an emergency.
· Backpack tag. If the primary time your child is alone is school-related (like walking to the bus stop), consider placing a tag on their backpack. Include their name, your phone number, and any medical issues that one would need to be aware of. However, do NOT put your address on the tag. This is a risk to your child, and is unnecessary.
· Shoe sticker. A tag or sticker placed into the bottom of one, or both, of your child’s shoes is a great way to give them ID without fear of them taking it off and/or losing it. If they are out and about, chances are their shoes will be on their feet. Use labels or stickers that are meant for fabric and will stay securely on the inside of the shoe. Any ink used should be waterproof and clear (like a permanent marker). Again, place your child’s name, age, your number, etc.
We hope this helps give you some ideas for protecting your child, even when you might not be around. If you have any information regarding the ongoing investigation in this case, we encourage you to contact our local Polk County Sheriff’s Department and let them know. This child’s family deserves the peace of knowing whoever did this pays the price. If you or someone you love has been involved in a similar situation, Sessums Law Group is here to provide the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve. When the unexpected happens, WE STAND FOR YOU!