VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A bicycling child was hit and killed in a Vancouver neighborhood Tuesday morning by a driver who remained at the scene.
The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. at Northeast 9th and 167th, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators said the 10-year-old boy, who was wearing a helmet, “rode directly into the path” of the oncoming truck and was hit in the intersection of the residential neighborhood.
The driver, a 45-year-old Vancouver resident, was headed east through the intersection. The north-south path had stop signs, authorities said. The 25 mph speed limit is posted in the area.
The driver lives in the area. The boy was hit just a few blocks from his own home.
“The driver was obviously in shock and distraught,” said Sgt. Alex Schoening with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit. The driver stayed at the scene “and has helped us piece together what happened this morning along with some scene evidence.”
“It appears the child rode his bicycle, he was on the road, directly into the path of the pickup truck,” Schoening told KOIN 6 News. “From my understanding, the driver was taking his own child to school” at the time of the crash.
He added he believes the boy was on his way to school.
“In this specific collision there’s no indication that excessive speed was at play,” Schoening said. “That’s just based on where the vehicle ended up, where the vehicle stopped.”
Investigators will check the vehicle data for information as well as look for surveillance video in the neighborhood, he said.
“There were at least 3 other witnesses on scene, folks that were helping,” he said. “First responders were here pretty quickly from Vancouver Fire and Vancouver Police.”
Connie, who lives in the neighborhood, said this is tragic for everyone involved.
“As soon as my daughter told me — she works for the district and she told me — and I was just sick for the person,” she said. “I can’t imagine hitting a kid and having to live with that. I can’t imagine. I feel really sad for him, too, and the parents, too.”
Sgt. Schoening felt the same way.
“It’s a very, very sad day.”
Illahee Elementary School in Camas sent a letter to parents at the end of the school day:
Dear Illahee families: (Прокрутите вниз, чтобы прочитатаь по – русски Desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en español)
Today there was a tragic accident involving one of our students. A 10-year old boy was riding his bike to school, was hit by a vehicle, and died at the scene.
The news of this tragic event spread rapidly at our school, and we immediately had trained counselors from throughout our district on site to help our students and staff. These specialized counselors will remain at our school to assist us as long as we need to work through this grieving process. This assistance will include support in our classrooms, as well as help available for individual student needs.
We are also supporting the family of the student and will pass along any information they would like to share in the days ahead.
As adults, it is difficult to understand the death of a young child. For our students, it is even more challenging for them to understand. In addition to the resources we have available at school, here is a comprehensive web site to assist you with supporting your child: https://childmind.org/guide/helping-children-cope-grief/.
We know the days ahead will provide us challenges, and we will continue to work and support our students and staff during this difficult time.
Kiya Masunaga, Principal