Charlotte County School District’s transportation policy questioned in lawsuit

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- The family of a teen athlete seriously injured on the way to a school baseball game is suing the Charlotte County School District over its transportation policy.

Brad Baker Jr., now 18, was traveling to his Port Charlotte High School baseball game last year in February when a vehicle pulled out in front of him. His family says the crash ended the teen’s baseball career.

“His abdomen muscles tore loose, his pelvis in the front spread apart,” said Brad Baker, the teen’s father. “State police and doctors all said if he hadn’t had a helmet on, he would definitely be either dead or a vegetable.”

Baker blames the district’s “meet me at the game” policy for the crash, saying players are required to provide their own ride to school sponsored activities.

“I believe they made a mistake as far as I know and I don’t think they should be allowed to tell kids that they have to do things that they really aren’t allowed to do,” Baker said.

The Bakers requested a copy of the school district’s policy but it was never provided. According to the lawsuit, the policy was put into action without any public input or consideration by the Charlotte County School Board.

“I just want them to admit they made a mistake,” Baker said.

Although the 18-year-old has injuries that will last a lifetime, his father says the teen’s love for baseball is still very much alive.

“That’s one of the things he told me in the hospital,” Baker said. “‘I want to be able to play another ball game dad.'”

The Charlotte County School District was unable to provide comment because of pending litigation.

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