Thursday, September 10, 2009

Parents, teach your children bike safety

On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at 8:16 AM, Duluth Police officers were called to the 2100 block of West First Street to investigate a vehicle verses bicyclist traffic crash.

The investigation determined that a 2004 Chevy pickup truck driven by Anton Miketin, age 53, of Esko, was traveling westbound on First Street when two bicycles ridden by 8 and 9 year old Duluth boys darted into the roadway in front of him. As Miketin swerved and braked to avoid hitting the bicyclists, the first bicyclist went around the front of Miketin’s vehicle without any contact, but the second bicyclist collided with the right side of Miketin’s truck and the boy fell to the pavement.
The second bicyclist, the 8 year old Duluth boy, was taken to Saint Mary’s hospital by Gold Cross Ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries including abrasions and a head injury/probable concussion. The boy was not wearing a bicycle helmet.
Neither excessive speed nor other factors on the part of Miketin contributed to this crash. Although traffic laws apply to bicyclists, the boy was not cited due to his age.
Duluth Police urge parents to talk with their children about safe bike riding to include: (1) Never ride into a street without stopping first; (2) obey stop signs and traffic laws; (3) check behind before turning, swerving, or changing lanes; (4) always ride on the right; and (5) never follow another rider without obeying the rules. Most importantly, bicyclists need to wear an approved bike helmet. Parents should provide their child with an approved bike helmet and require that they wear it whenever they are riding their bike. Medical studies show that the majority of head injuries that are associated with bicycle falls and crashes can be prevented by a helmet. Many of those head injuries are severe and life-altering.