2012-08-03 at NOON
Mason Dean (left) was presented with a new bike helmet on Friday from Marita Campbell of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
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Mason Dean Is a lucky 13-year-old.
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On Wednesday the Thunder Bay youth was cycling on a sidewalk on Cumberland Street, making his way to the skateboard park at Prince Arthur’s Landing.
He never got there.
Mason says he has no recollection of being struck by a car, he’s just happy he’s still around to talk about what happened.
On Friday officials from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Thunder Bay Police Service’s traffic unit presented him with a new bike helmet, to replace the one that was damaged in the collision.
“All I remember is I was going to the skate park with two of my friends and we were almost there. I guess we came to a crosswalk and that’s when I got hit. After it I just remember waking up in the ambulance,” he said.
“It was just a minor concussion, but I’ve got some scrapes and bruises.”
He counts his blessings that he was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, knowing the outcome likely would have been much worse without one.
Mason said he agreed to become the poster-child for helmet safety to help ensure no one else suffers needlessly.
“If I wasn’t wearing mine I would probably have a lot more serious injuries or I could have died at the time,” he said.
“It’s pretty cool that they picked me to do it because there were some other people who weren’t wearing their helmets at the time. So I guess I earned it, by wearing it.”
Traffic Sgt. Glenn Porter said the accident highlights the exact reasons why police have been targeting cyclists on the sidewalk in recent weeks and trying to reduce speeds on certain streets, where lead-footed drivers tend to ignore posted speed limits.
It also showcases the importance of wearing a helmet, which under the law, children under 18 are required to do.
“In this case I’m absolutely certain it would have been a much worse outcome,” Porter said. “In this situation we had a young man on a bicycle and he’s the driver of a vehicle. He went from one portion of the highway, which is the sidewalk, into another portion of the highway which is the roadway. He wasn’t really following the rules of the road.”
Luckily for Mason, the driver of the Chevorlet Colbalt that struck him, was.
“The driver of the car was able to see this, recognize it and was able to stop in time,” Porter said. “She was able to do this because she was going at a speed that was proper for the conditions and she is paying attention. That made a huge difference in this instance.”
Marita Campbell, a public health nurse with the TBDHU, said they decided to reward Mason with a new helmet because he was wearing one at the time of his crash.
“He was doing the right thing and we know he’s going to need a replacement helmet because that helmet’s now been through a collision and definitely needs to be replaced,” she said. “We thought we would do what we could to show we appreciated him making the right choice.”
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