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Truck Driver Not Charged in Child's Death

Feb. 15, 2005 – Authorities at the V.I. Justice Department say they do not recommend criminal charges for the driver of a delivery truck that struck and killed a seven-year old school boy on St. John in December.
The parents of the child say they are unhappy, both with the decision and the failure of officials to notify them.
"Nobody has ever told me. Nobody has ever called me to tell me," said Davidson Alfred, father of seven-year old Javon Alfred. Javon died after being hit by a truck on Dec. 22 near a wastewater treatment plant in Estate Enighed. He was on his way home from a school Christmas party.
No charges were filed against the truck driver. A few weeks after the incident a spokesman for the V.I. Police Department said charges were being withheld pending a legal opinion by the Justice Department. On Monday the chief of the Justice Department Criminal Division, Earnest Bason, declared Javon's death an accident.
"We came to a determination that criminal charges are not warranted in this matter. The statements are that the young man ran in front of the truck when the truck was moving," Bason said, citing witness accounts given by a tourist at the accident scene, and another statement given by a second child who was crossing the street at the same time.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesman, said there is no further action to be taken by the VIPD in light of the decision from Justice. "Quite frankly there isn't anything else we can do in this matter," he said.
But the victim's parents say they feel cheated. "Javon was a very intelligent boy. I know Javon would not have run in front of a moving truck. I would put my neck on the block on that," the boy's father said Tuesday.
The boy's father also read from a police report that described markings in the road where the accident occurred indicating the presence of a crosswalk. The report cited several details that suggested negligence was at play, and the officer stated he would ask the attorney general to charge the driver accordingly.
Alfred said for now the family will take no further action in the matter, but he said he felt the Justice Department disregarded the facts presented by the officer at the scene.
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