On Friday August 26, 2011, at around 8:45 p.m. a 15-year-old bicyclist and his friend were riding home when he was struck by an Ford pick-up in Flagler County, leaving the young man critically injured. Kirt Smith, the victim in this accident, was taken by ambulance to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida after AirOne, the Volusia County helicopter, had technical difficulties getting off the ground. Reports say that Flagler County did have a working helicopter that was close to the scene but the county had not used the helicopter outside its 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. service time for over two years in order to save money. Smith’s friend did not sustain any injuries in the accident.
The driver of the Ford pick-up, 31-year-old Gary Wright Jr., of Palm coast, was driving southbound in the inside lane on Seminole Woods Parkway when the accident occurred. After the accident, Wright turned his truck around and came back to the scene to await local authorities to arrive. Wright spent most of the time sitting on the back of his truck bed with Flagler County Sheriff’s officers and paramedics making sure he was okay and giving blood samples for testing.
According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, Smith’s bicycle was shattered into several pieces at impact and both southbound lanes were closed for over an hour to clean the debris up. The impact had been strong enough to smash the truck’s left headlight and buckle its hood.
Authorities said Smith was not wearing a helmet.
For more on this story, see Palm Coast bicyclist injured in collision on Seminole Woods Parkway.