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Community : Top Stories Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012 - 9:05:27 AM

Child biker/vehicle collision near school serves as alarming caution to DI drivers
By Jennifer Johnston
Oct 10, 2012 - 9:04:07 AM

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It was something they’d done countless times before, biking over that pedestrian crosswalk from the Daniel Island Library to Daniel Island School. Still, this mom and her two daughters never took for granted that familiarity meant immunity from incident, so they were always certain to roll through safely.
 On the afternoon of September 11, the three headed to soccer practice at DIS. The fourth-grader led the way, crossing from the library to the school property ahead of mom and younger sister. Though the first-grader had only recently learned to ride a two-wheeler, she observed the rules as she always had: she stopped, put her foot down, and looked both ways. She believed it was safe to cross, but it turns out it wasn’t.
 A car coming from the back of the school turned toward Daniel Island Drive, accelerated slightly, and did not brake until it was just a couple feet from the young biker. The car hit the bike, knocking the startled rider off, and pushing the bike forward. Thankfully, the girl was wearing a helmet, and remarkably only suffered scraped knees and elbows.
This all happened in slow motion for the girl’s mom, who was not quite up to the curb when her child was struck. After verifying that her daughter was okay, she attempted to confront the driver, who did not get out of the car. Paramedics were called and gave the shaken biker a thorough once-over at the scene before confirming she was only a bit bruised up. Police also arrived within a few minutes and, according to the traffic collision report, the driver was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The girl’s mom tells us that witnesses reported the driver texting just prior to the incident. Signs around Daniel Island School declare the pick-up/drop-off area a “cell phone-free zone,” yet it’s not uncommon to see drivers talking on or looking down at their phones in the area. Regardless of the circumstances in this case, it is a close-call reminder of the duty we have as island drivers to use the greatest of caution in a community where children are literally everywhere. “We all have a role in keeping our kids safe,” the concerned mom asserts. “That’s one of the great things about our community, that it’s kid-friendly, and we’re all looking out for each other.”
Still, accidents happen, and this rookie two-wheeler set a great example in taking safety precautions and doing her part to protect herself. “It could have been a lot worse if she hadn’t had her helmet on,”
her mom reflects.
As kids often do, the young biker showed great resilience. “I was amazed, but the very next day, she jumped right on (the bike) to go back to school,” her mother recalls. “The kids were totally fine; I was the one most traumatized because as a parent in that situation, there’s nothing you can do.”
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