Child Killed Riding Bike to School - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Child Killed Riding Bike to School

By Al Pefley  email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

A  tragedy near a local elementary school.  A young boy on a bicycle was killed when he was hit by an SUV on his way to school.  Palm Beach County Sheriff's investigators say 12 year old Julio Chirino was not wearing a helmet when he pedaled his bike across Military Trail this morning.

Minutes after the crash, a sheriff's investigator carefully placed the little boy's camouflage-colored backpack and his black bike helmet in his truck.  His sneakers were in the road and a few feet away, the handlebars of the youngster's bike  could be seen under the SUV that ran him over at the corner of Military and Summit.

"Well I just heard a bang and looked up and I just saw the guy just rolling under the vehicle you know and I was in shock too, you know," said Christopher Lee, who was working outside a nearby bank.

Investigators say  Chirino was riding his bike to Berkshire Elementary School about 7:50, when he pedaled across Military Trail and proceeded across the street even though the crossing light was red.  A woman driving an SUV, going northbound on Military Trail hit him.   Officials say she had a green light.  She's identified as 23 year old Lina Emile of Palm Springs.  The boy's bike became lodged under the SUV and she dragged it at least 25 or 30 feet before coming to a stop.

Chirino was taken to Delray Medical Center but did not survive.

"It's sad. I feel bad. Those poor parents," said Ethyle Chesna, a neighbor who said she sometimes saw Julio riding his bike on her street.

At the boy's home on Burch Drive less than a mile from where the crash happened, we could not reach anyone for comment.

That intersection where the accident took place,  Military Trail and Summit Boulevard,  has a school crossing guard. But a sheriff's spokesman says the crossing guard does not arrive each morning until 8:30, and in this case the accident that killed the boy happened about 40 minutes before the crossing guard got there.

"I just think it's awful and I think if there were crossing guards over here at Summit and Military this never would've happened. Or if they would be scheduled to be here earlier this definitely could've been avoided," said Heather Lawson, a neighbor who lives on the same street as the victim.  

 She says Julio sometimes played with her son, and she says he was a "very sweet boy."  No one has been charged in the accident.    The youngster had a bike helmet with him,  but officials have determined he was not wearing it when the SUV hit him.

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