Spanaway 5th grader hit while biking home, dies

A ten-year-old Spanaway boy was struck and killed by a pickup truck while biking home from a friend’s house around 6:45 p.m. Thursday evening.

The fifth grader was leaving the driveway of a friend’s house a mere seven blocks from his own home when the collision occurred, according to The News Tribune. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

The 64-year-old man behind the wheel was not impaired at the time of the collision, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told The News Tribune.

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6 Responses to Spanaway 5th grader hit while biking home, dies

  1. A says:

    Disgusting victim blaming in the article.
    “The child was not wearing a helmet, Troyer said.”

  2. merlin says:

    Driver was “not impaired,” so it couldn’t have been his fault.

  3. Bryan Willman says:

    Let’s be fair – it could be that cyclist did something like pop in front of the pickup truck. Such things do happen. (I did it and was hit about 37 years ago.)

    It could also be that the unimpaired driver still did something wrong. We don’t know.

    Where was the cyclist hit? On the sidewalk? In the driveway? In the middle of the lane?

    The “wearing a helmet” meme is like “smoked” after “somebody got lung cancer” – some social function I don’t quite understand, but I think it’s “i don’t do that so it won’t happen to me”.

  4. CL says:

    My heart goes out to this family: It’s terrible to lose a child.
    I truly hope to see some thoughtful dialog in the coming days about the effect of auto speed: At what speed was this man driving his truck and what is the speed limit on the street… But please, I hope the focus won’t be on helmets, which are only useful IF someone’s been hit, and only at relatively low speeds. In my experience, not many people realize that ‘five or ten miles over’ makes all the difference in a collision. We are so vulnerable.

  5. Bryan Willman says:

    OK, after the awful gut check over the loss of a child, and not knowing how good the news report is, but finally having time to read it directly, I find:

    “The boy pulled in front of the truck as he left his friend’s driveway”

    Yes, the speed limit there might be wrong, or it might be the best practical compromise.

    Having actually been hit by a pickup truck (decades ago) driver of which also laid into the brakes and turned violently to avoid me, and lived to tell about it, wearing a helmet might (or might not) have saved this child.

    But looking carefully before riding into traffic almost certainly would have helped. (Of course, maybe he did look and didn’t see the truck because of parked cars or inappropriate traffic speeds – totally legimate issue.)

    We must not pretend that cars are “going away” (they aren’t) nor that any cyclist or pedestrian can ever be safe without a certain amount of responsibility. But of course that responsibility must be taught, and must be practically possible.

    It’s hard to remember that when you sick over someone’s death – but remember it we must.

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