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Girl Hit by Car While Riding her Bicycle; Father Charged

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Girl Hit by Car While Riding her Bicycle; Father Charged

Old 03-23-12, 10:51 PM
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SocialCow
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Girl Hit by Car While Riding her Bicycle; Father Charged

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A young girl from Putnam County was hit by a car while riding her bike, and her father is being held responsible.

The accident happened Thursday afternoon along Mount Vernon Road in Teays Valley.
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The 11-year-old girl's father was charged with child neglect because police say he wasn't watching his daughter.

The Kerwoods say she rides her bike frequently up and down the road and in and out of subdivisions.

A woman driving in a car didn't see her Thursday evening and skidded several feet, dragging the girl and her bike before coming to a stop.

Police say there was heavy traffic on the road where the accident happened.

The Kerwoods say their daughter was scraped up and badly bruised but is recovering. She was taken to CAMC Teays Valley Hospital following the accident.

The driver immediately called 911, but no charges were filed.

Instead, deputies charged the girl's father, Earin Kerwood, with child neglect for not keeping an eye on his daughter. Kerwood told police the girl's grandfather was watching her from the front porch and didn't see the car.

The 11-year-old was not wearing a helmet. West Virginia law requires anyone 15 years old or younger to wear one.

Kerwood was also charged with obstructing an officer and obstructing emergency medical service personnel.

Kerwood's lawyer released this statement:

"The family of Earin Kerwood believes he will be acquitted of the charges against him in due time," Attorney Mike Davenport said. "The charges against Mr Kerwood are strikingly similar to a 2011 case involving Putnam County emergency personnel. In both cases a concerned father, trying to inquire as to the health of his injured daughter, found himself arrested for his efforts. These charges will be vigorously defended in court."

The Kerwoods say cars speed up and down Mount Vernon Road. Friday, they say there's a new speed limit sign posted along the busy road. Police are not saying speed played a factor in this accident.
Link to the story

Map of the town

Street view of Mount Vermon Rd.


This area may need some context information, this is SUV/Truck nation, closer to the more urban center of Charleston, much of the state is a so called rural area, with an interstate going right by it, I have yet to see a town in this area of the state that has sidewalks for people to use, Huntington, WV which close by is urbanizing its downtown area and building sidewalks/bike routes, but it is considered by many to be a egregious waste of money.
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Old 03-23-12, 11:43 PM
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Another story of not holding motorist responsible for how they operate their vehicles.

Since Dad was suppose to protect the girl from errant motorist, I suppose it would be OK with the cops if Dad stood on the road ready to shoot any motorist driving too fast near his girl. At least that way he would not be held responsible for the motorist hitting the girl.
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Old 03-24-12, 01:11 AM
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An eleven year old should not need constant supervision. Those cops need to be charged, but there's no law against incomprehensible stupidity.
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Old 03-24-12, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Greyryder View Post
An eleven year old should not need constant supervision. Those cops need to be charged, but there's no law against incomprehensible stupidity.
Apparently not in West (By God) Virginia
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Old 03-24-12, 07:25 AM
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How times have changed. When I was 11, I was loosely expected to stay within a 5 mile radius of my house. My parents knew my friends, their parents, and my stomping grounds and always seemed to be able to figure out where I was. Additionally there was some sense of neighborhood in that most people knew how kids played and so we were looked out for by the group. These days neighbors have been replaced by passers-through.

-G
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Old 03-24-12, 07:55 AM
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Viewing the road, it looks very autocentric, especially with that many homes situated or about to be situated( I viewed some new divisions being built). After much searching, I finally found a 25 mph speed limit sign, and then it was obscured by a couple of power poles, talk about some poor planing to keep speeds at bay.

In one of the turns, a mid sized SUV, mirror to mirror, took up the whole lane. Add in a double yellow line, making some motorists reluctant to cross it, or barely move over into the other lane to make a safe pass.
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Old 03-24-12, 02:19 PM
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This is BS.

A driver has an ABSOLUTE responsibility to watch for what's in front of them; yes, kids on bikes can shoot out from between parked cars unexpectedly. That means, TO ME, that you don't drive through neighborhoods like you own them.

The parent SHOULD have (and may HAVE) taught his child caution; kids have a way, though, of being NOT cautious in their exuberance for an activity they enjoy. We parents can only demonstrate caution for them, and try to curb them when we can. It's not an every-second-of-every-day possibility.

EVERY ADULT has the responsibility of exercising caution in what WE do, though. Our carelessness cannot be laid off on another -- like this sounds.
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Old 03-24-12, 06:28 PM
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My parents would have spent many years behind bars if the law had been interpreted like that when I was eleven. I had a loose 30-mile radius that involved letting my folks know which town I was headed towards on my bike. If I wasn't going to be home for dinner, I needed to call.

It is absurd that someone thinks an eleven-year-old child is the same as a toddler. Now, if we would just supervise those children who irresponsibly drive motor vehicles, then we might have some livable places.
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Old 03-24-12, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SocialCow View Post
Link to the story

Map of the town

Street view of Mount Vermon Rd.


This area may need some context information, this is SUV/Truck nation, closer to the more urban center of Charleston, much of the state is a so called rural area, with an interstate going right by it, I have yet to see a town in this area of the state that has sidewalks for people to use, Huntington, WV which close by is urbanizing its downtown area and building sidewalks/bike routes, but it is considered by many to be a egregious waste of money.
This sounds very similar to the case that we were following this past summer about a mother being investigated for allowing her daughter to ride her bike to and from school.

Given that the grandfather was watching the child why is the dad being charged? Maybe, just maybe the grandfather can be charged with something, but I don't see how either of them can/should be charged with anything. Don't 10/11-year old's walk to and from school in that town unsupervised?
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Old 03-24-12, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
This is BS.

A driver has an ABSOLUTE responsibility to watch for what's in front of them; yes, kids on bikes can shoot out from between parked cars unexpectedly. That means, TO ME, that you don't drive through neighborhoods like you own them.

The parent SHOULD have (and may HAVE) taught his child caution; kids have a way, though, of being NOT cautious in their exuberance for an activity they enjoy. We parents can only demonstrate caution for them, and try to curb them when we can. It's not an every-second-of-every-day possibility.

EVERY ADULT has the responsibility of exercising caution in what WE do, though. Our carelessness cannot be laid off on another -- like this sounds.


Thanks, DX-MAN. Couldn'ta said it better myself.

What can we do about it? Whattaya think of a petition at some site like change.org asking law enforcement to hold drivers responsible when they hit anything including, most importantly, people?

I've never started one of those petitions. But I'll bet I could figure out how.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Greyryder View Post
An eleven year old should not need constant supervision. Those cops need to be charged, but there's no law against incomprehensible stupidity.
Pretty much sums it up.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
This is BS.

A driver has an ABSOLUTE responsibility to watch for what's in front of them; yes, kids on bikes can shoot out from between parked cars unexpectedly. That means, TO ME, that you don't drive through neighborhoods like you own them.

The parent SHOULD have (and may HAVE) taught his child caution; kids have a way, though, of being NOT cautious in their exuberance for an activity they enjoy. We parents can only demonstrate caution for them, and try to curb them when we can. It's not an every-second-of-every-day possibility.

EVERY ADULT has the responsibility of exercising caution in what WE do, though. Our carelessness cannot be laid off on another -- like this sounds.
Geez, DX MAN you make far too much sense to be on this forum
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Old 03-24-12, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Don't 10/11-year old's walk to and from school in that town unsupervised?
What you wrote made me chuckle and have the sad realization that things are much different in the rest of the country than what they are in my neck of the woods.

I have never seen kids walking any further than their front yard anywhere. And that also includes adults.

This road in which this accident happened is not any different than the majority of roads in the tri-state area.

I don't know how many of you saw the cideo reporting but the skid marks on the road are a good four feet and is just a guess. She couldn't have been paying attention.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SocialCow View Post
What you wrote made me chuckle and have the sad realization that things are much different in the rest of the country than what they are in my neck of the woods.

I have never seen kids walking any further than their front yard anywhere. And that also includes adults.

This road in which this accident happened is not any different than the majority of roads in the tri-state area.

I don't know how many of you saw the cideo reporting but the skid marks on the road are a good four feet and is just a guess. She couldn't have been paying attention.
Yeah, I know that sadly things aren't anywhere the same as when a lot of us here were kids. Which is really sad. As these days I've seen kids being driven to the bus stop by their parents. Even when said bus stop is more likely than not is only a couple of blocks from their home. If when I was a kid we'd asked our parents to drive us to the bus stop they'd have been on the floor laughing at us. Even those who lived a mile or better from the bus stop walked to it in all weather, rain, snow, cold, etc.

But at 10/11 years of age kids should be able to (road conditions taken into consideration) walk or ride a bicycle to and from school. Maybe if more parents started to demand that schools allow this practice again we wouldn't have so many kids dealing with childhood obesity, or type II diabetes while they're still children.
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Old 03-25-12, 07:47 AM
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I dont like law suits. But here again the family should sue the hell out of the driver. If the government wont do their job, do it with a civil law suit. And when they win a huge settlement make sure it get as much publicity as possible as a warning to other drivers.
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Old 03-25-12, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SocialCow View Post
What you wrote made me chuckle and have the sad realization that things are much different in the rest of the country than what they are in my neck of the woods.

I have never seen kids walking any further than their front yard anywhere. And that also includes adults.

This road in which this accident happened is not any different than the majority of roads in the tri-state area.

I don't know how many of you saw the cideo reporting but the skid marks on the road are a good four feet and is just a guess. She couldn't have been paying attention.

Seeing that particular road, it is definitely not user friendly when it comes to non motorized traffic, making walking and riding a bicycle not a viable option, or at least, very uncomfortable for most of the general public if they did choose not to use an automobile.

As for the motorist's skid marks, at least there's some evidence on possibly how fast they were going, and their lane positioning.

Though the road is signed for a max speed limit of 25mph, from my personal observations on similar roads in my locale, I can see speeds of 40, maybe 50 mph being attained on a regular basis by motorists.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
This is BS.

A driver has an ABSOLUTE responsibility to watch for what's in front of them; yes, kids on bikes can shoot out from between parked cars unexpectedly. That means, TO ME, that you don't drive through neighborhoods like you own them......
^^^ +1
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Old 03-25-12, 10:15 AM
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That "Kerwood was also charged with obstructing an officer and obstructing emergency medical service personnel" may have itself engendered the child neglect charge. A few years ago, if not for friends in the criminal justice system, I would have been in legal hot water in a similar situation.
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Old 03-25-12, 10:38 AM
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On the obstructing charges, I wonder if similar charges would have been brought on a "concerned" mother?
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Old 03-25-12, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
On the obstructing charges, I wonder if similar charges would have been brought on a "concerned" mother?
We don't really have enough information to tell what happened. Certainly "obstruction of an officer" charges tend to be better called "contempt of cop" -- it's a catchall charge the police use whenever you don't properly kiss their butt.

My guess (and it's just a guess based on very limited information) is that the cops informed dad of the collision, dad showed up at the scene and tried to take care of his daughter himself, the cop got in his face and dad didn't let the cop push him around and that's where those charges came from (perhaps that's where all the charges came from?) Or maybe the cop showed up to charge dad with child neglect and tell him of the collision, dad rushed to check on his daughter, found her mostly OK and tried to take care of her himself, then the cops wouldn't let him do that and it went downhill from there.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
We don't really have enough information to tell what happened. Certainly "obstruction of an officer" charges tend to be better called "contempt of cop" -- it's a catchall charge the police use whenever you don't properly kiss their butt.

My guess (and it's just a guess based on very limited information) is that the cops informed dad of the collision, dad showed up at the scene and tried to take care of his daughter himself, the cop got in his face and dad didn't let the cop push him around and that's where those charges came from (perhaps that's where all the charges came from?) Or maybe the cop showed up to charge dad with child neglect and tell him of the collision, dad rushed to check on his daughter, found her mostly OK and tried to take care of her himself, then the cops wouldn't let him do that and it went downhill from there.
It could also be that the father wanted to see the daughter for himself, and was told by the LEO and EMTs to stay back. My personal thought is if mom showed up and wanted to see her daughter, she would have not been told to stay back, and allowed to see her daughter.

West Virginia might be different story, but after hearing about a Tennessee BF member's troubles with the law over letting her 10 yo daughter ride to school by herself, the neglect charges might a tough row to hoe for the father.

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Old 03-25-12, 12:30 PM
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This nation has become mentally ill. No need to frame this as a "West Virginia" thing. In 1989, I was riding 30 mile solo rides at age 11, and on an MS150 at 12. I hope that girl gets well soon and that the system backs off the father.

edit: CT state law requires helmet use for youngsters as well. But there is a specific clause that states their non-use will not constitute child abuse or neglect.

That road is a regular rural/residential road. No reason not to expect pedestrians, cyclists, tractors, cattle, horses, etc. on that road.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
This nation has become mentally ill......

......That road is a regular rural/residential road. No reason not to expect pedestrians, cyclists, tractors, cattle, horses, etc. on that road.

The nation has become "overly engrossed" in their childrens' safety.

As for the road, your statement could be mouthed by the very motorist that hit the child cyclist.
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Old 03-25-12, 03:33 PM
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When I was 11, I lived in Europe. I went out at 8 and returned at 5. I took civilan busses all over town, went to the Swimhalle on my own, ate lunch often "on the economy" (yummy Brats). Sometimes I'd takr an AF bus out to the base to visit the library (where no asked why I was reading clean "adult" fiction).

At 14, in Texas, I got a drivers license and drive all over the county. My generation wanted independence, as fast as possible. My parents wanted to give it to me.
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Old 03-25-12, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
That road is a regular rural/residential road. No reason not to expect pedestrians, cyclists, tractors, cattle, horses, etc. on that road.
Don't know if being serious, or sarcastic...

Assuming you're serious, I know country rural roads, and I mean rural roads, in European countries that have sidewalks and you can literally walk on the sidewalk from one town to another, while in most US towns I would struggle to find more than half a mile of connected sidewalks.

And as an off topic, in the areas in the US that I know (West Virginia, East KY and Southeast Ohio), wide sidewalks would solve most of our (bike) advocacy problems, would allow for pedestrian traffic in the inner city and bike/pedestrian traffic in the outter city/between cities.
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