On Friday, April 22nd, 12-year old Shantrel Kailyn Williams was riding her bike on the sidewalk in front of her home on west Arbutus Street in Compton when she rode out a few feet into the street to turn around.
A few seconds later, the honor student at Long Beach’s Tincher Preparatory Academy lay in a crumpled heap on street, the victim of an alleged drunk driver.
According to her mother, she wasn’t wearing her helmet — even though state law requires helmets for riders under 18 — because Kailyn thought it was ugly, and her mother believed riding on the sidewalk in front of the house would be safe.
Despite surviving emergency brain surgery, doctors made it clear from the beginning that she wasn’t survive long, and that a difficult decision would have to made.
Last Sunday, after over a week in a medically induced coma, Kailyn was taken off life support and died later that night.
According to KCBC-2, 60-year old Thomas Abraham Long was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence; at last report he was still being held on $100,000 bond.
Her mother offers advice for other parents — and all bike riders:
I would tell everyone you need a helmet because you may control what you do, but you can’t control what someone else do.
This marks the 27th cycling death in Southern California this year, and ninth in L.A. County since the first of the year.
My heartfelt prayers and sympathy to Kailyn’s family and friends. Thanks to Allan Alessio for the heads-up.