Teen injured in 2015 bus crash awarded $23M in damages

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut jury has awarded more than $23 million in damages to an autistic teenager who suffered severe head injuries when his school bus crashed into a tree.

Gabriel Goncalves, of Wolcott, was a sixth-grader at the time of the June 2015 crash. The bus driver told investigators he swerved to avoid a car that had veered into his lane.

Lawyers for his family argued that the injuries robbed the boy of a future, changed his personality and reversed any progress he had made learning to function with autism.

Lawyers for the defendants, including the bus driver and the bus company, said the boy’s symptoms after the crash, including aggression and behavioral decline, were caused by autism and not his injuries. They either declined comment or couldn’t be reached.

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