A Tragedy That I Hope Others Might Learn From.
Monday, April 30, 2012
last weekend, one of our drivers hit a teenager. though airllifted to the hospital, the young man died of head injuries the next day. he was only 15 years old.
the teen was in the middle of a 4 lane highway in a very dark section maybe a 1/4 mile from the intersection, wearing black, black bike, no lights, no reflectors, no helmet.
the driver was on the inside passing lane as he was about to go into the left hand turn lane. he didn't even remotely see the kid.
of course, there's an investigation. they found the driver did nothing wrong. he was going slower than the speed limit, his attention wasn't being diverted by talking on a cell phone or doing anything else. of course, drugs or alcohol weren't a factor.
though, there is a suspicion that the kid had drugs and/or alcohol in his system. we live in a small town and lots of the local teens said he was out drinking. unfortunately a toxicology report takes months to get.
but, impaired or not, the big issue is, he was head to toe in black and in a place you would never expect a bike rider to be.
it's a big problem here and i'm sure everywhere. people wander around in the dark all dressed in black. often as not, they are wearing their ipods and can't hear anything. we have very few sidewalks and alot of dark roads with no streetlights. all the time, you are driving along and all of a sudden there's someone a foot away from your side mirror and you didn't see them at all. the only surprise is that more people haven't been hit in this town.
our hearts are broken at being involved in this tragedy and our driver is off work for ptsd and getting counselling. he looks awful. he can't sleep. this has caused so much unnecessary pain for the boy's family, friends and all involved.
we don't really know what to do. sorry just doesn't cut it. we are looking into how to start a walk/ride safe program, and hopefully it will make these young people think when they are out at night.
there's not much else i can say about it. but, i needed to get it out. it's been a very long stressful week.
parents--make sure your kids have lights on their bikes and wear something bright at night, and wear their helmets. night walkers/riders be responsible and make sure drivers can see you. when something happens to you, it's not just your life that's affected, but, your family's, friends' and countless others who have never even met you.