KILLEEN--The accident that claimed the life of the 8-year-old boy occurred during National Bicycle Safety Month.
"You don't realize on a bicycle how fast you are really going and how far it is down to the ground," said Chad Welch, owner of Tri-City Bicycle in Belton, which he’s operated for four years.
He was involved in a bike crash as a teen that caused the bones on his right elbow to crack.
Although it's been 30 years since the accident, Welch still has the scar and cannot fully extend his right arm. Fortunately he was wearing a helmet. He now promotes bike safety through his business.
He says riders should always wear fitted helmets.
"It's ok to be un-cool," he said. "Trendy to me is wearing a helmet and surviving each day that I ride my bicycle."
Bicycle riders must follow the same traffic laws as motorists, police say.
"A cyclist can be ticketed for failure to obey traffic laws," said Harker Heights Police Department Community Services Officer David Haley. "Even though it might be a traffic ticket, nothing replaces a child life or a traumatic injury to a child."
Haley said he's been doing bike safety outreach in schools for the last five years after seeing alarming cases of bike fatalities involving children.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent statistics released from 2012 show 726 bicycle accidents were fatal, and about 14-percent were in Texas. (Nick Delgado)
KILLEEN (May 21, 2014) An 8-year-old boy who was critically injured when a truck hit him while he was riding his bicycle just after 6 p.m. Monday in a Killeen neighborhood died Wednesday at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple.
The boy, whose name won’t be released at the request of his family, was pronounced dead at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Witnesses told officers the boy was riding his bicycle south in the 6400 block of Nessy Drive on the east side of the road when he failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Nessy and Cessnock Drive, police said.
The boy rode into eastbound traffic in the 4200 block of Cessnock Drive and into the path of a Ford pickup whose driver was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the youngster, police said.
The boy was not wearing a helmet, police said.
The pickup’s driver was not injured.
Police are still investigating.
They say the boy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.