Bike safety top of mind after teen hit by car, suffers skull fracture

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The intersection of Tradition and Village Parkways in Port St. Lucie is known for being busy.

It’s where a 14-year-old bicyclist collided with a car Wednesday night and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Just down the road at Sprockets Adventures, it didn’t take long for bike shop owner Louis Patterelli to learn of the crash.

“Our first concern was if it was one of the kids that comes in our shop and there’s a large group of them that rides all over the place here,” Patterelli said.

Police said while the incident is under investigation, the driver had a green light at the time of the collision.

Port St Lucie

14-year-old on bicycle struck by vehicle, police say

9:44 PM, Jun 05, 2024

“The vehicle was headed westbound, had a green light, was going through the intersection,” Port St. Lucie Police Chief Richard Del Toro said. “The bicyclist was using the crosswalk headed north. [It] looks like to us violated the right of way of the driver of the vehicle.”

Police said the 14-year-old was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center after suffering a skull fracture, but the injury was not life-threatening.

He’s now in stable condition, but police said he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

“I know it’s not the cool thing to wear sometimes, but in this case too there was some head trauma, so you know a helmet could have prevented something like that,” Del Toro said.

Patterelli, who has suffered head trauma even with a helmet on said, “[the boy is] lucky to be alive.”

Incidents like Wednesday’s crash call attention to the issue of safety, especially in an area that continues to grow. More cyclists and drivers are sharing the roadways both needing to know the rules.

“Ignorance of the law doesn’t protect you from getting run over by a truck,” Patterelli said.

“[There’s] a lot of traffic out there. That’s a very busy intersection. You’re talking about a six-lane highway,” Del Toro said. “Just having those conversations with kids if you’re going to be on your bike and you’re going to be moving through those intersections you want to just do it in a safe manner.”