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Family of 8-year-old scooter crash victim praying for a full recovery

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids police say two children have serious injuries after a scooter they were on crossed into a busy street and hit a car. The boys, who are ages 8 and 12, were riding the same scooter in an alley near 15th Street SE and Mount Vernon Road on Wednesday afternoon.

When they crossed Mount Vernon Road, a vehicle hit them. The boys have life-threatening injuries and are at UIHC receiving treatment. Officials said according to witnesses and video evidence, the children went onto Mount Vernon Road SE and the scooter without stopping at a stop sign.

There are no charges pending in the crash, but the driver cited for Driving While License Under Suspension and Failure to Provide Proof of Financial Liability.

People living in the neighborhood say both the intersection and alley are not safe for drivers or pedestrians. They want something done before another crash happens. While the family of the 8-year-old in the hospital says now is not the time to play the blame game.

Darryl Johnson says the alley is filled with fast drivers and approaches a dangerous intersection.

“I won’t use this side of the alley because it’s a blind spot,” he said. “Like you come out, you can’t really see anything, and by the time you come out to see something, you got the traffic that oncoming. It’s a busy street. Mount Vernon Road, very busy.”

He wants the city to add speed bumps or close the alley altogether. He says it’s especially not safe for people on scooters.

“My personal preference, I don’t think children should be allowed to ride those scooters. They’re just dangerous,” he said. “It’s a very bad spot to be driving or just to be out because like I say, people come through all the time, 45-50 miles per hour.”

Jasmine Horning is the sister of the 8-year-old victim. She says he just got out of surgery.

“That’s my heart right there,” she said about her brother. “If he goes, like if something happens to him, like I don’t know what would happen. I would just go crazy.”

She wants people to focus on praying the two children make a full recovery.

“These are little kids and you can’t blame someone,” said Horning. “Just care for them, and just pray for them, because they are people’s families. We’re really going through a hard time right now.”

A spokesperson with police says the scooters only go up to 15 miles per hour, so the kids were not violating the speed limit.

VeoRide owns the scooters. In a statement, the company said “We are very saddened to hear of this incident. There is nothing more important to Veo than the safety of our riders. We will work closely with local officials to fully investigate the matter, and to ensure that safety measures are continually improved for Veo riders in Cedar Rapids and across all of our markets.”

Part of their agreement with the city is people need to be 18 or older to use them. Cedar Rapids has no municipal code for officers to enforce.

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