Clark County experts urge summertime safety after accidents with kids

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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First responders give safety tips after fatal bike crash

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

As summer approaches and children are out of school, first responders are warning Clark County residents to take safety precautions after two incidents over the weekend left one child dead and another injured.

Kaden Webb, 11, was struck and killed by a car on Friday night while he rode his bike on Ohio 235 at Stafford Road in New Carlisle, according to Lt. Brian Aller with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Kaden’s bike didn’t have reflectors, he wasn’t wearing a helmet and the road has no streetlights, Aller said.

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“Things happen very quickly,” he said. “And if they can’t see because you don’t have any reflective material, no lights or anything like that, something bad could happen.”

The driver most likely won’t face charges, Aller said.

Family of the Tecumseh Middle School student said he was a joyful kid who always had a smile on his face. Friends and family of Kaden Saturday at Raynor Park in Park Layne Manor. A balloon launch happened Sunday at the same park.

“You see kids today and they all got a real bad sour face on, not Kaden. He was always happy. He was just a joyful kid,” said Bill Balbfeld, Kaden’s step-grandfather.

The crash is a reminder that all bicycle riders should take precautions, Aller said, like wearing bright colors and reflective clothing.

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“If you’re going to ride at night, you have to have lights on the rear and on the front of your bicycle that way people can see something,” he said.

Bike Safety is a top priority for Diana Daniels, who works at the Bicycle Shop in Springfield. She’s been biking on city streets for decades.

“Ohio law does not require that we wear a helmet but we highly recommend a helmet,” Daniels said. “I have plenty of horror stories of folks that have come off a bike but have survived because they were wearing a helmet.”

She also recommends mirrors so that riders can see behind them without turning around and brushing up on the rules of the road.

“I can’t emphasize enough that you have to be prepared and be educated before you take your bicycle out at night,” she said.

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More riders will be out in the warm weather, Aller said, and that means a higher likelihood for accidents.

“Drivers need to really pay attention and pay attention not just to the front of your hood but beyond,” he said.

Another Clark County child was injured over the weekend when she fell into a fire pit at Enon Beach campground. The 2-year-old suffered burns and was taken to the hospital by medical helicopter but she’s expected to be OK.

People also need to take precautions when it comes to lighting bonfires, Moraine Fire Marshall Doug Hatcher said.

“Make sure there is an adult with it at all times,” he said. “You can’t afford even with teenagers, you can’t afford not to have an adult there.”

It’s also better to use a fire pit that is lifted above the ground so the fire can’t spread, he said, and to keep water or an extinguisher nearby.

“You have to pay attention to what’s going on there because it’s going to be life altering if that accident does happen,” he said.

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The Springfield News-Sun delivers public safety news across Clark County, including coverage of the tornado that tore through Park Layne and a downtown Springfield sidewalk that was closed when bricks began to fall from a nearby building.

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