Earlier this month a 10-year-old girl was hit by a person driving while riding her bike in New Richmond, she died four days later from her injuries.
Morgan Greene was struck and injured by the 40-year-old man at the intersection of West Richmond Lane and Sequoia Lane. According to a news release from the New Richmond Police Department driver remained on scene and worked with law enforcement officials.
Her organs were made available for donation, the family previously stated on a GoFundMe page that they hope they organs would save other little boys and girls so they “don’t have to go through the same thing.”
Reports don’t indicate, which road Greene was on at the time of the fatal crash, or how fast the driver was going. It was, however, reported that neither alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash.
The speed limits on the two roads that meet near the scene of the crash are 25 mph and 35 mph. The speeds likely involved in the crash are sadly more than enough to seriously harm or kill a child.
A majority of crashes occur in urban areas, unlike in this case, but a majority of deaths occur on rural roads. This crash occurred in a residential area, which is intersected by a rural road. Though the crash happened on a rural road, it was also in an area where many cyclists feel most comfortable and an unfortunate sign of our need to be more vigilant as drivers.
Though not a factor in this crash, it is also important to note that many fatal crashes involve alcohol. This is an issue that affects all of those who bike in our communities throughout the state. When you get into the car, make sure you are well rested, sober and store all electronic devices; be ready to give your full attention to the task of driving and look for other people on and along the roadway to help further reduce these numbers. And if you are unfortunately involved in a fatal crash or even just a crash, stay at the scene and call for help. Not stopping is a crime and can delay emergency response to the scene of the crash.
The ultimate goal of the Wisconsin Bike Federation and Share & Be Aware is to reduce fatalities to zero. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to worry about parents losing children or children losing parents before their time. We are working towards this goal by offering classes and information throughout the state through our Share & Be Aware ambassadors. They can come to schools, universities, police stations, driver’s education classes and events. The classes and information are always free.
People driving can make efforts by taking care when driving on any of our roads in Wisconsin, and by actively looking for people biking and giving them at least three feet of space whenever passing them. In turn, people biking should ride in the same direction as traffic while using hand signals to broadcast movements and can make other efforts like using lights and wearing visible clothing. The Wisconsin Bike Federation also recommends the use of helmets.
Those who are interested in learning from or working with an ambassador can reach out to the program at ShareAndBeAware.org for safety tips and free classes. Ambassadors are spread throughout the state and are often willing to do some traveling.
As a citizen of the area you can help by understanding the laws and lead by example by following the speed limit and giving space to those cycling on our roads. In Wisconsin a driver is required to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing. You can also write, call or speak with your local elected officials to support funding for cycling safety improvements.