Sometimes you just want to scream.
A 12-year old Oceanside boy is dead, evidently because a driver neglected to look both ways before pulling out of a driveway.
The Seaside Courier reports the driver was turning left onto the Coast Highway when he heard a thump on the side of his truck. He made a U-turn into another driveway, and got out to find the victim lodged under his rear tire.
Despite a lack of witnesses, police suspect the victim was riding against traffic in the bike lane, while on his way to a nearby school.
However, even if he had been riding the wrong way, he should have been clearly visible unless the driver neglected to look to his right as he prepared to pull into the center turn lane.
It’s also possible that the boy would have survived if the driver had simply stopped when he heard the thump, which was most likely the sound of his bike hitting the side of the truck.
A 12-year old boy is unlikely to have been riding fast enough to suffer significant, let alone life threatening, injuries by colliding with the side of the pickup. It’s probable that the fatal injuries were caused when the driver made his U-turn with the boy trapped underneath.
This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in San Diego County.
Update: The victim has been identified as Logan Lipton, a champion surfer who loved skateboarding and frequently rode to school.
Tragically, though, his uncle says he was unusually apprehensive about going to school his bike on Thursday.
Update 2: A comment below from Barbara says the driver is a bicyclist himself, and is very torn up about this, which is only natural.
She also says that he didn’t see Logan on his bike because the sun was just beginning to rise.
However, even at that early hour, there should still be enough light to see. And the sun could not have been in the driver’s eyes because the street runs north and south, and he would have been facing west.
We can sympathize with the driver; something like this must be devastating to live with. But it’s far worse for Logan’s parents, family and friends.
It’s entirely possible that Logan may bear some responsibility for what happened if it can be shown that he really was riding against traffic. And he would have been more visible with a light at that early hour, if he didn’t have one on his bike.
But let’s not forget that cars are big, dangerous machines, and it only takes a momentary lapse in attention to have life altering consequences.
He was honored by his fellow surfers with a paddle out on Sunday.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Logan Lipton and all his family and friends.