BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – The parents of Ameer Frazier are claiming gross negligence by the Town of Bluffton and the team he played football for in his 2019 death.
That’s the base of a new lawsuit filed in Beaufort County courts by Tiffany Latrice Ford and Thaddeus Frazier.
As first reported by the Island Packet, the wrongful death lawsuit names the Town of Bluffton, the Bluffton Bulldogs, and David and Kirsten Swiger as defendants.
The 5-year-old Ameer was killed when he fell off the Bluffton Bulldogs float he was riding at the 2019 Bluffton Christmas parade, then was run over by the trailer.
The suit says Ameer and a teammate were dragging their feet on the pavement as David Swiger, the driver, pulled into a parking lot at the end of the parade route. Swiger then “suddenly and without warning” pulled forward, causing Ameer to fall to the pavement.
“As Swiger continued moving forward, the trailer tires ran over Ameer’s body” the suit continues.
The boy was taken to Memorial Health in Savannah where he died of blunt head trauma.
The Swigers are each being accused of negligence and gross negligence for failing to ensure proper safeguards for the trailer and the children, failing to exercise “due care,” and not having anyone as a “lookout” in case a child fell or was hurt.
The Town of Bluffton is accused of allowing an unsafe trailer to be in the parade, and failing to provide adequate supervision to ensure parade participants acted in a safe manner regarding the operation of parade floats.
The Town of Bluffton sent this response to WSAV News 3: “Ameer Frazier’s death was a tragedy which affected and still affects the Bluffton community. The Town of Bluffton, which is named as one of the three defendants, will turn over this case to its Insurance Reserve Fund, which is the insurance organization for Bluffton and other government agencies.”
Frazier’s family is asking for an undisclosed amount of punitive and compensatory damages.