A 14-year-old died Tuesday morning in New Port Richey after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash involved a Jeep and happened at Moon Lake Road and Slidell Street just after 7 a.m.
The child was transported to an area hospital but later died due to the injuries suffered in the crash. The child was a 9th grader at River Ridge High School.
The crash remains under investigation and authorities are asking drivers to avoid the area.
At this time, no charges have been filed.
Anytime a child is hit by a car while riding their bike, it is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. Sadly, a child’s bicycle is no match for the mass and velocity of a full-sized car, so when these accidents occur, serious injuries and/or death are often the result.
In most of these accidents, the chances are, the driver didn’t mean to hit your child. They may have been rolling too fast through a stop sign, texting while driving, or just simply failing to pay attention to their surroundings.
If your child is struck by a car, your next steps are very important. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled a list to help you think fast and preserve critical evidence.
- Take Care of Your Child’s Injuries/get them to the hospital
- Keep the accident site intact
- Establish Witnesses
- Call the Police
- Collect Driver Information
- Take Photographs
- Talk to the Police
- Hire an Attorney
The first, and most obvious thing, is to tend to your child’s injuries. There is a very high chance that they will be badly scraped up and bruised from impacting the car, but they could also have broken bones, a concussion, dislocated joints, or other very serious injuries after the crash. Do everything you can for your child and, if necessary, prepare to call an ambulance to take them directly to a hospital.
Whenever possible, try not to disturb the bicycle’s location too much while treating your child as this can be an important detail for later. You want to make a mental note of where your child was exactly after the crash.
The next step is to identify any witnesses and get their accounts of the accident. You will want them to make a report to police once they arrive at the scene. If witnesses can’t stay because they need to be somewhere, collect their names and contact information so they can be called about the incident later on.
The driver should remain at the scene and speak with the police. If they leave, the accident escalates to a hit-and-run.
Once the police are called, it’s time to make sure you have all the information you will need in the future. You need to get the driver’s full name, license plate number, and the details of their insurance policy. Try and take a picture of both sides of their insurance card so you can confirm the details later on.
We strongly recommend not conversing with the driver other than gathering their information. Don’t say anything accusatory, don’t ask for an apology. You do not want to say something that can jeopardize a legal case because you are upset after an accident. The less you and the driver talk (aside from exchanging information) the better.
If your child is suffering from significant injuries beyond a few easily healed scrapes and bruises, then you need to call an attorney. While the law will hold the driver responsible for any criminal actions like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will need legal help to hold them personally responsible for the damage done to your child. This is where our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can be your best ally.