In yet another heartbreaking incident in a very bad week for SoCal cyclists, a 9-year old boy was killed while riding his bike in Anaheim Thursday afternoon.
In what Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez called “just an ugly, ugly accident,” the child — who has not been publicly identified — was riding home from school on the sidewalk when he was struck.
According to the Orange County Register, he stopped his bike at the intersection of W. Orangewood Avenue and Loara Street and waited to cross; when the driver of a raised Ford pickup truck stopped at the intersection, he rode his bike out into the crosswalk. At the same time, the driver pulled forward, striking the boy.
According to the driver, he never saw the boy, and he was not cited by police. Evidently, California drivers are no longer required to be cautious, alert and aware of their surroundings when behind the wheel.
I’m sure the driver is devastated. Lord knows I would be.
But somehow, I don’t think “Oops” should be a universal Get Out Of Jail Free card for someone who kills another human being. Especially not an innocent child who, by all accounts, was riding in a safe and legal manner.
My heart and prayers go out to his family.
UPDATE: KCBS Channel 2 quotes Sgt. Martinez as saying “We’ve been talking to the driver and there’s no indication that he did anything wrong or illegal.”
The report says the driver was not able to see the cyclist directly in front of him due to the height of the truck. So, a driver can operate an unsafe vehicle — which may or may not be legal, yet which by its very design prevents him from seeing something directly in front of him — and the police are just fine with that.
Am I the only one whose stomach is turning right now?