The North Carolina Department of Transportation is urging drivers and parents to be extra careful after two 9-year olds, at two different times in one week, were hit by cars while on their bicycles.
DOT said more than 950 people are hit by vehicles in North Carolina every year while riding bicycles.
Sandra Cutshaw Haithcock said she was inside her house when 9-year-old Logan Decosta was hit by a black Mercedes Tuesday night in Wake Forest.
She said her grandson is Decosta’s best friend and was there playing with him when he was suddenly hit and dragged by the vehicle around 8 p.m.
State troopers said the driver told them it was an accident and she didn’t see the child because it was pitch black.
Haithcock said it wasn’t dark at 8 p.m.
“No. She’s lying,” said Haithcock.
Haithcock said Decosta was not wearing a helmet at the time he was hit.
Pediatricians with Carolina Kids Pediatrics explained wearing a helmet is difference between life and death.
Pediatrician Dr. Christian Nechyba, “Research shows that wearing a bike helmet decreases the chance of head injury by 80 percent, which is pretty powerful.”
Nechyba treats children hit while riding on bicycles all the time.
“You only have one brain. If your brain is hurt, your head is hurt, then sometimes that’s a permanent thing,” he said.
That’s exactly why DOT launched its “Watch for Me” campaign to remind the public of the precautions they need to take seriously.
DOT spokesman Mike Charbonneau said the most important thing the public can do is “wear your helmets, wear your reflective gears, and watch for traffic.”
Haithcock said she spoke with Decosta’s father Wednesday and he said his son is in the ICU at Duke Children’s Hospital and is believed to be brain dead.
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