Family members have identified the child who was struck and killed while riding his bike on Sunday in Buffalo as Shamsan Fadel, 9, originally from Yemen. A student at Buffalo Public School 3, Fadel was taking baked goods to Front Park for a fundraiser to help Yemeni families affected by war. The boy was not wearing a bike helmet when he was hit by a minivan as Fadel rode in the street near Jersey Street and Busti Avenue. Family tells 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that Shasman Fadel did not own a bike helmet.
Police say speed and alcohol were not factors and no charges were filed against the driver who did stop at the scene.
With the cycling community growing in Buffalo, the tragedy is touching many. It is also raising the awareness of the need for safety - both by drivers and cyclists.
New York State law requires children under age 14 to wear a safety-certified bike helmet that fits snuggly. Ethan Johnson, co-owner of Campus Wheelworks on Elmwood Ave, said a good helmet needs to be test fit for proper size which cannot be done if ordered through the internet. Johnson said newer style helmets have MIPS technology which provides an inner movable shell to help better avoid concussions. Other technology now coming to the market are extra bright LED day lights for bicycles.
City officials remind the public there is a ordnance that allows children under age 14 to ride bicycles on the sidewalk. For those who are riding in the street, it is important to ride with traffic and obey proper crossings.
However, the growing problem with distracted drivers continues to have law enforcement warning motorists to focus on driving and not doing other things like using a cell phone.
Mayor Byron Brown said the City has worked with organizations like Go Bike Buffalo and the Police Athletic League (PAL) to provide bike helmets for low income families,