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Boy on bicycle struck by SUV in Point Breeze

| Monday, April 22, 2013, 7:12 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
The driver of an SUV remains in disbelief from striking an 8-year-old boy who was riding a bicycle on Monday, April 23, 2013, with family members at South Lexington Avenue and Reynolds Street in Point Breeze. The boy was trapped underneath the vehicle and had to be freed by a Pittsburgh EMS rescue team.

Cynthia Turich called 911 as soon as she heard screaming on Monday afternoon, thinking at first that a dog had bitten someone across the street at Frick Park.

Then, while talking to emergency dispatchers, the Point Breeze woman looked outside and saw an 8-year-old boy lying under a sport utility vehicle, his bicycle still on top of him.

The boy was hospitalized in critical condition in Children's Hospital in Lawrence-ville with injuries suffered when he was hit by the SUV about 5:10 p.m. while bicycling with a parent and a sibling at South Lexington Avenue and Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh police Lt. Craig Campbell said. The other two bicyclists were not injured.

“When I heard the screaming, I picked up the phone to call 911. When you live by a park, you think someone has been bitten by a dog again,” Turich said.

“The 911 dispatcher wanted to know all the details. There were a bunch of people around the (vehicle). Some people wanted to try to lift it off him. It was really awful.”

The female driver sobbed as she talked two hours later to city homicide detectives and accident reconstruction specialists. Police did not identify the woman or the boy, who Campbell said was wearing a helmet.

Neighbors only said the family lives in the neighborhood and that the boy attends Shady Side Academy Junior School.

Reynolds Street, which is marked as a bicycle route, is a block away from busy Penn Avenue, where two bicyclists were struck and killed by motorists last summer.

“People drive over here to avoid Penn Avenue,” Maryanne Loebig said. “To see another bicycle accident should give city planning people and residents pause to think about traveling through this neighborhood.”

“It's so sad. Neither the driver nor the family expected this to happen. That poor woman. I want to go put my arms around her.”

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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