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Boy hit, killed on bicycle in Kosciusko

A young boy on a bicycle died after he was struck by a pickup truck in Kosciusko County on Monday night.

The Winona Lake Police Department said Kurt Engler, 10, was riding his bike on Lexington Drive and was turning onto County Road 250 East when he was struck.

He was the second child in as many weeks to be seriously injured or die after being hit by a car or truck in the region.

This month, Fort Wayne police were called to a crash in which a 9-year-old girl was hit by a car after she rode her bicycle into a city intersection.

The girl was taken to a Fort Wayne hospital and listed in serious condition.

Both cases highlight the importance of bicycle safety, especially as it relates to children who might not be familiar with traffic laws they are required to follow.

The two children were hit after they failed to yield at stop signs, according to witness statements to police.

“The rules of the road apply to bicyclists as much as they do motorists,” Michael Joyner, spokesman for Fort Wayne police, said in reference to the girl’s crash.

That means all stop, yield, do-not-enter and one-way signs have just as much importance when it comes to foot-powered transport.

Not all the burden rests with cyclists, though.

Joyner said motorists often become overly complacent, looking only for the obvious four-wheeled vehicle instead of motorcycles and bicycles.

“They’re a lot harder to see than a pickup truck or passenger car,” Joyner said of two-wheeled vehicles.

Checking bicycle lanes before crossing into traffic and making sure no one is coming before opening a door into a bike lane are a couple of tips he offered motorists to help prevent bicyclist injuries.

Parkview Health Systems sponsors a Share the Road campaign, which focuses on safety measures everyone on the road can use to help keep one another safe. One focus of the campaign is to ensure drivers allow for 3 feet of clearance when passing bicyclists in bike lane.