The 12-year-old bicyclist who was freed from beneath a car on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda Thursday evening has died, police reported this morning. The boy’s name was not released.
Several passersby lifted the vehicle off the boy after he was struck and pinned beneath the vehicle at the intersection of Sheridan Drive and Delaware Road.
Although police are continuing to investigate the fatal accident, no charges have been filed against the driver and there was no indication that the motorist, whose name wasn’t released, was at fault, police said this morning. There was no drug, alcohol or cell phone use involved, said Lt. Nicholas A. Bado, a department spokesman. Further, the driver had the green arrow to turn left onto Sheridan Drive.
Just after 5 p.m., the woman driving south on Delaware Road in a dark blue Pontiac Vibe struck the bicyclist as she was turning left onto Sheridan Drive, town police reported.
The teen was taken by ambulance to Women & Children’s Hospital.
Gary Stuff, who was shopping at the nearby Sears Hardware store when the accident occurred, said, “I saw him underneath the car. He was trapped under the car.”
Stuff, who is chief of the Ellwood Volunteer Fire Company in Kenmore, sprang into action. As passing motorists also stopped and rushed to the scene, Stuff directed them to lift the vehicle off the trapped bicyclist.
“I got everybody over on the passenger side of the car,” Stuff said. “We lifted the car up to about our waists and another gentlemen slid him out.”
Stuff, who also called for paramedics and extrication crews to respond, estimated that eight to 10 people helped him lift the vehicle off the boy.
Stuff added that the person who pulled the boy out from under the car was said to be an off-duty Town of Tonawanda police detective. The boy was conscious and responsive at that time and provided the detective his name, age and telephone number.
Haynes confirmed that “at least one” plainclothes detective from Tonawanda assisted in efforts to help the child at the scene of the accident.
“We did what we had to do to get the kid out from under the car,” said Stuff, downplaying any suggestion he and others were in any way heroic.
“It was a good group effort,” he said.
Colin Kosmerl had just arrived at the Sheridan Drive Tops, where he works, when he heard a noise and looked up to see the back wheels of the Pontiac roll over the bike.
The 26-year-old Tops gas station attendant said he watched from the sidewalk as the rescue effort unfolded, estimating that the boy was freed within a minute of the accident.
“I saw people at the gas station standing and gasping,” Kosmerl said.
Hours after the accident, the intersection was heavily marked off with yellow tape and traffic cones as the Tonawanda accident investigation team worked to document the scene.
The Pontiac remained in the intersection, just past the crosswalk, and investigators had outlined its location in orange paint.
Residents attracted by the commotion looked on from nearby parking lots. Michele Bykowicz said she called home to make sure her 14-year-old son had not been the one hit as soon as she heard the news.
“We live right here and he rides his bike home all the time,” she said.
“I’m feeling for whoever his parents are, that’s for sure,” said Bykowicz.
Town residents Jim and Carol Rojek said accidents and near-misses are common in their neighborhood. “It’s a shame,” Jim Rojek said. “It’s too much speed and not enough lights,” he said of Sheridan Drive.
The name of the driver has not been released.