On the evening of Thursday, August 4, 2011, 14 year-old Morris L. Taylor and his friend were bicycling through the Tampa Bay Riverview area when Taylor was suddenly struck off his bicycle by a Dodge Ram pickup truck. The 31 year-old man who was driving the truck was heading northbound on U.S. Highway 301 when he collided into Taylor’s bicycle. Though his friend rushed to get help, Taylor tragically died at the scene. The 31 year-old only suffered minor personal injuries.
The Florida Highway Patrol report stated that both of the cyclists were wearing dark clothes and that neither of their bicycles were equipped with the proper lights necessary for biking in darker conditions. Furthermore, the report stated that no charges have been filed at this time.
During summer months in Florida as well as the rest of the year, adults and children alike enjoy biking and other recreational outdoor recreational activities like running and playing sports. Many such activities take place on or near Florida roadways and highways. During the evening and night hours, visibility is reduced which, in turn, can put bicyclists and pedestrians (especially children) at risk for serious personal injuries.
Just remember that if you and your child are going to take an evening bike ride, make sure that you and your child are equipped with the proper safety equipment before you go out on the road. Products such as bike lights, helmets, and bright or neon clothing are just a few things that can help prevent accidents and tragedies from taking place on or near Florida roadways and highways It is also important to remember that if you are driving in the evening time, pay attention to your surroundings and to watch for any pedestrians and bicyclists (especially children) who may be out at night. These steps, while not 100% effective, can greatly reduce the risk of serious personal injury and help make the summer time much more enjoyable.
For more on this story, see 14-year-old boy bicyclist dies in crash.