Boy, 10, escapes injury when his scooter crashes into SUV

Washington City Police officers tend to scene where a boy on a scooter ran into the rear panel of an SUV on Harvest Lane Thursday morning, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 19, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — A 10-year-old boy riding a scooter to school ran into the side of an SUV as he was crossing a street in Washington City and was taken to the hospital as a precaution Thursday.

Officers, EMTs and emergency personnel responded to Harvest Lane just before 8 a.m to find that the boy had been knocked from the scooter during impact. After being evaluated by Washington City Fire EMTs, he was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation “mainly as a precaution,” Washington City Police spokesman Ed Kantor said.

Washington City Police officers tend to scene where a boy on a scooter ran into the rear panel of an SUV on Harvest Lane Thursday morning, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 19, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Witnesses at the scene told police the SUV was heading west on Harvest Lane just as the child, also heading west on his foot-powered scooter, cut across the street midway through the block to reach the north side of the street where Riverside Elementary School is located.

As he darted across, the child struck the rear driver’s side panel of the SUV, knocking him to the ground. The driver stopped immediately to check on the child.

Officers investigating the incident found that the driver was not speeding and “the investigation at this point shows there was no fault on the part of the driver, so no enforcement action has been taken,” Kantor said.

The vehicle sustained little damage during the incident and was driven from the scene.

“We caution drivers to watch for children darting out in front of traffic,” he said, adding that “we also caution children who are riding or walking to school to watch for traffic, cross in designated crosswalks and to be careful.”

Kantor went on to say that drivers have a higher degree of responsibility when it comes to pedestrian safety, primarily due to the fact that a 2,000-pound vehicle can be lethal if involved in an incident with a pedestrian. Even so, children can take steps to increase their own safety while making their way to school, and parents can play a key role in that.

“Kids and Wheeled Sports Safety” infograph, May 2017 | Image courtesy of Safe Kids, St. George News,

Kantor also mentioned that wearing a helmet can provide protection should the child strike his or her head during an accident, preventing serious injury.

There is ample research confirming that helmets and other protective gear are the best way to prevent injuries while riding, according to a recent report by Safe Kids Worldwide, “Ready for the Ride: Keeping Kids Safe on Wheels.

More than 30 percent of all emergency room visits are children 15 years or younger, and kids make up the largest number of people who visit emergency rooms for various reasons, including accidents at home and school.

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of emergency room visits for bike and skateboard-related injuries decreased, but visits for skate and scooter-related injuries increased significantly.

In fact, scooter-related injuries shot up by 40 percent over the 10-year period.

Parents can play a key role in helping children realize the importance of helmet use, though the study contained some troubling findings.

Nearly 40 percent of the 1,600 parents surveyed admitted that their child doesn’t always wear a helmet while riding, even though more than 426,000 children – nearly 50 every hour – visited an emergency department in 2015 with a bicycle/scooter/skateboarding-related injury.

Infograph showing highest number of emergency-room visits for children riding scooters, May 2017 | Image courtesy of Safe Kids, St. George News,

Helmet use is dramatically lower with scooter riders when compared to bicycles and skateboards, which means that kids who ride scooters have the highest rate of injury, yet are the least likely to wear a helmet, according to the study.

Riverside Elementary School Principal Burke Staheli told St. George News that pedestrian safety is stressed at the school, particularly for those children who walk, ride bicycles or scooters to school.

“I tell the kids to ride slow and safe on the sidewalk routinely, but children need to be reminded of this because they are young,” Staheli said.

Staheli went on to say that this was an unfortunate accident that thankfully turned out well.

Children are not small adults, and it takes time and practice for a child to develop the ability to deal with traffic. Over time, they gain the skills to accurately judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars. But young children may think a car is able to stop when it is not, or that if they can see a driver then the driver sees them, unaware that they are smaller and harder for drivers to see.

Tips for students walking to school

  • Obey pedestrian-control devices unless otherwise directed by a police officer or crossing guard.
  • Do not cross a roadway intersection diagonally.
  • Use the right side of the sidewalk when passing others.
  • Cross only on a marked crosswalk.
  • Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in the roadway when not in a marked crosswalk.
  • Walk along the shoulder of the left side of the road facing the direction of oncoming traffic when no sidewalk is present.

Tips for children riding a bike to school – National Safety Council 

  • Always wear a helmet that is fitted and secured properly
  • Children need to know the rules of the road. Ride single file on the right side of the road, come to a complete stop before crossing the street and walk the bike across
  • Watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning
  • Wear bright-colored clothing

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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5 Comments

  • factcheck October 19, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    He was assessed, treated and transported by Gold Cross Paramedics. Washington City EMT’s helped. Ouch.

    • DRT October 20, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I don’t believe that Washington City has any ambulances. So Gold Cross did the transport. As to the wording…
      Anyway, EMTs are usually far more interested in helping the patient than they are in taking credit. We should all be thankful to have EMTs in both fire services and law enforcement.

  • DRT October 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

    “Riverside Elementary School Principal Burke Staheli told St. George News that pedestrian safety is stressed at the school, particularly for those children who walk, ride bicycles or scooters to school.”
    That’s great Mr. Staheli. I hope every school does this. And I hope they go around and temporarily collect all the electronic toys the kids have, prior to this instruction. This safety instruction needs to be started in kindergarten, and continued on an age appropriate basis, every school year until graduation.
    Since it is obvious that parents will not take the time from their self-centered, busy schedule to talk to their kids about safety, it’s pretty much left up to the schools to educate the kids.

  • Tom October 22, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    This boy was very lucky. Most cars are speeding down Harvest Lane every minute of the day. The worst are the Mothers driving their kids to school or picking them up after school. By the way Washington City Police. Why did so many cop cars have to show up ? Why was various roads around this site still closed long after the boy had left the scene ? There were at least 7 marked police cars on the scene plus a few that seemed to me unmarked but still police cars. Be very careful on 240 West. It is a nightmare with so many people driving 50 or more in a 25 mph zone. Same for Merrill road especially in front of Riverside Elementary School.

  • Tom October 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Why does my comment have to have “moderation” ????

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