The news did not look good last night.
And today, our worst fears were confirmed as news came that a 15-year old bike rider was declared brain dead following a Tuesday collision in Canyon Lake.
As noted earlier, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported yesterday that the rider suffered major injuries when he broadsided a Cadillac Escalade after crossing into an intersection following a steep descent on a side street.
As of Wednesday morning, the victim was hospitalized in critical condition with major head trauma. The impact was hard enough that the side airbags deployed on the SUV; the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
The Friday Flyer reported today that the victim, Sam Siroky of Canyon Lake, was declared brain dead Wednesday evening. According to his father, his body was being kept alive so his organs could be harvested for transplant.
Matthew Siroky says the family thanks everyone for their wonderful support, and they want something positive to come out of this terrible circumstance. Matthew says, “We know Sam would want to help as many people as possible, so we are donating his organs.”
A website has been established to help cover his memorial and medical expenses.
Both stories note that Siroky was not wearing a helmet, even though that’s required for all cyclists below the age of 18 under California law.
It’s possible a helmet may have made a difference in this case, since he died of brain injuries; however, given the apparent force of the impact, it may not have made a difference.
This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and ninth in Riverside County; that compares with just five in the county this time last year.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sam Siroky and all his family.