LINCOLN, Maine — Police will hold a free bicycle safety course at Veterans Square off Main Street on Sept. 10 in response to the serious injuries suffered by a 7-year-old boy in a biking accident last week, Police Chief William Lawrence said Friday.
The injured boy, Casey Kent of 6 Katahdin Ave., spent several days at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after the Aug. 24 accident before being released. He is now at home and riding his bike again.
The idea, Lawrence said, is to turn the lad’s misfortune into a good lesson for other town youth who also might need to learn about bike safety.
“In this particular case, the child was not wearing a bicycle helmet and sneakers. He was wearing flip-flops,” Lawrence said of the accident. “It is pretty common not to see kids wearing helmets. That is one of the reasons we are doing this.”
Kent was bicycling down a driveway at 4 Katahdin Ave. when he came onto the road and collided with a southbound pickup truck owned and driven by Brad Murchison, 20, of Chester, Lawrence has said. A security officer at Lincoln Paper & Tissue, Murchison told police that he did not see the boy until it was too late, Lincoln police Officer David Cram has said.
The driveway upon which Kent was riding is more than 100 feet long and cut deeply into the steep, almost ridgelike hill that lines the west side of Katahdin Avenue, a dead-end road about 1¼ miles long that runs north from West Broadway to the mill entrance at the end of Katahdin Avenue.
The hill blocks almost all visibility into the driveway from the road, and vice-versa, Lawrence said.
Bicycle Rodeo Workshop organizer Officer Mark Fucile, town Events Coordinator Amanda Woodard and members of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the University of Maine Cycling Club will teach program participants, children ages 5-10, about bicycle safety, inspect bikes and helmets and teach children ages 5-10 how to maintain their bikes, Lawrence said.
Program participants are required to wear helmets and sneakers for the event, which will start at 1 p.m. Parents are encouraged to attend.