Miriam Shipman, a former church day care van driver, was acquitted of charges of failure to exercise due care and driving a vehicle with inadequate brakes in connection with a fatal crash that killed a 9-year-old refugee last Following a brief non-jury trial City Judge E. Jeanette Ogden ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold Shipman, 29, of the Black Rock area, criminally responsible for the death of Darpan Niroula, a Bhutanese refugee whose family was brought to American in 2010 by Catholic Charities.
The boy who was struck and killed while walking about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2011 in the intersection of Rhode Island Street and Prospect Avenue, in front of his family’s home. None of the children on the van were injured.
The nation of Bhutan is a southeast Asian country at the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains.
At the time of the fatal incident, Shipman was driving a 15-passenger van for Lil’ Workers Child Development Center, which is operated by Greater Works Christian Fellowship Church on Southampton Street. She later left the organization.
Following a lengthy investigation, police accident investigators ruled they could find no evidence of criminal negligence or recklessness on the part of Shipman.
The boy’s family still has a civil suit pending over the incident.