It’s not something any parent wants to think about; their child alone on a bike getting hit by a car or truck. Yet this is reality for hundreds of families every year across this county. Whether you live in a large city like Annapolis, Baltimore or the District, or have a home in a smaller town like Bel Air, Havre de Grace, or Ocean City, the dangers for kids near traffic are real and can be very scary.
Proper safety equipment and other protective measures can give a youngster some defense against falling off his or her bicycle, but tangling with a commercial delivery truck in the city or getting sideswiped by a passenger car in the neighborhood can lead to severe injuries or even death. As a Maryland personal injury lawyer, I know that these are tough images to consider, but the point is here to make certain your child is well equipped to travel the streets and bike paths throughout our state.
Running across an editorial piece not long ago, we were reminded at how lucky some auto accident victims really are following a bad crash. While this story begins with a harrowing discovery by the young boy’s father the outlook appears good for the teen. According to the article, 16-year-old Tyler Junkin-Mills and his family had only recently moved into a new home in Olney, MD, when one day the teen didn’t return home when expected.
Having only just begun to unpack a myriad of items from their move, the family’s bicycling helmets were still packed away in one of the many boxes located around the home. Regardless, Tyler apparently rode off on his bike without his helmet on a supposedly quick trip to a local bakery where he worked.
Becoming anxious after some time had passed and not hearing their son return, Tyler’s father drove off to try and locate the missing boy. Just two blocks away, on Rte 108, the father saw what surely made his stomach turn; patrolmen were in the process of cleaning up an apparently accident scene, which included his son’s bicycle, mostly a tangled mess of metal tubes by the side of the road.
According to the article, police asked the father if the bike belonged to his child. Answering yes, they told him that his son was probably already at Children’s National Medical Center, having been transported by medivac helicopter.
The accident, in which Tyler was struck by a passenger car as he peddled home from the bakery, left the boy’s right leg quite mangled. He had no ID and could not remember his last name. Other injuries sustained during the accident included compound fracture of the femur, a broken tibia and an ankle that had lost nearly all of its skin, having been sliced by one of the bicycle’a peddles.
Most concerning to the parents was whether or not Tyler’s brain had been injured in the collision. According to the story, his head injury improved overnight. Over the next few days doctors worked on his other injuries, drilling into broken pieces of leg bone and inserting a long rod down the middle, locking it with screws at the top and bottom; then moving on to the tibia. X-rays showed that Tyler was still a growing boy, which made things more complicated.
The extensive medical care that goes into making a child whole again following a biking accident can be costly as well. Fortunately for this young man, his mother is a physical therapist; she made him walk every day and kept after him to work with weights and strengthen both his muscles and bones. Apparently he was successful, according to the editorial piece, as he started ski club last month. That says a lot for him, his doctors and his family.
A teen’s bike accident presents doctors with a rattled brain, a shattered leg, WashingtonPost.com, January 3, 2011