It was Easter Sunday, and Mason Lane begged his mother to let him take a quick bike ride from downtown Palmyra.
She agreed, and the sober 11-year-old took to the streets of Lebanon County City.
Lane – familiar with the area and taught to follow the rules of the road – waited his turn to cross into Palmyra Square on East Main and South Railroad Street. A car that stopped at the intersection turned him into a crosswalk, but as the 11-year-old climbed onto the street, he was hit by a right-turning car on Main Street.
The collision hit Lane under the car, breaking his wrist and destroying his bike. The driver had to be backed up so he could get out, his mother Megan Skishley said.
Skishley said the driver stopped and got out to ask if the lane was okay, then left the scene of the accident without calling the police, providing his name or waiting for the 11-year-old’s parents to arrive.
Even after a lapse of more than two months, she is yet to trace the driver who killed her son.
Palmyra police say they do not believe what he did was against the law, so they are not investigating, although several lawyers told PenLive that the driver had an obligation to provide his information and ensure that The child is safe.
Instead, Mason is injured and left alone on the side of a busy road with a tangled bike that won’t work.
Skishaly was celebrating Easter at her mother’s home on Chestnut Street when her son called her crying and said someone had hit her with his car. Skishaly said he found his son on his way home with a broken wrist and dragging his broken bike.
His mother said that Mason did not realize the extent of his injuries and did not know how to deal with being hit by a car. Since the driver’s departure, passengers and signs have been posted around the intersection in hopes of obtaining information for the skier to identify the driver.
“He was in shock. His bike was bent and he couldn’t ride on it, and his wrist was fractured,” Skishley said. “I want [someone] Could see my signs and help me get an answer on the driver.”
Passengers urged anyone to call her for details, but no one has yet.
Skishley called Palmyra police twice for more information, but said she felt she was harassing them.
“I haven’t really updated on anything they’ve done,” she said.
Police Chief Andrew Winters told PenLive last week that his department is not investigating the accident because he does not believe a crime has been committed.
“I understand that a child might not understand what really happened, but at the end of the day, the driver did what he should have done,” Winters said. “It is highly recommended that you should call [the police] But there were enough witnesses to say that everything seemed fine.”
Can’t see the graphic? Click here.
The Main and Railroad intersection is one of Palmyra’s busiest intersections and is equipped with traffic cameras; However, Scheele said that the police told him that no one was in the right position to catch the accident.
According to police, the driver was a white man who appears to be in his 60s. Officers interviewed three witnesses at the scene but none found the man’s license plate number.
Winters said each witness told police they saw Lane pass the scene when the driver asked the young child if he was okay.
Witnesses also said that Lane had entered the crosswalk when he had not, Winters said, even though Lane said the driver with the green light passed him. It is unclear whether witnesses will be close enough to witness that exchange.
Despite this, legal experts disagree with the Palmyra Police’s decision that no crime has been committed.
“He had a duty under the law to at least provide his name and insurance information,” said C. William Kenney, a personal injury attorney for Berger & Green in Pittsburgh.
And just because the police don’t know who the driver is, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to find out.
“There is no criminal, the way they see it,” Kenny said. “It’s a false argument.”
Section 3744 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code states that drivers involved in accidents involving damage to property, injury or death are legally obliged to provide their name, address, driver and vehicle information.
“It is conceivable that a child would not report their injuries,” Kenny said. But despite this the bike got damaged, which is another reason under the law for drivers to give their information.
Winters said he would not file charges against the driver, even if they could somehow find him. He emphasized his opinion that the driver did everything he could, noting that the boy said he was not hurt.
“You’re looking and assessing what you see in front of you, what are you going to do?” Winters said. “What should they do if (Mason) is in a hurry to leave, grab him and hold him?”
“Usually you rely on a police officer’s discretion whether they continue an investigation, although this raises issues because the child was very young,” said Chris Marzako, a personal injury attorney at Marzako Niven and Associates Injury Law in Harrisburg. said.
Marzaco said it would be common sense to stay at the scene until police or Lane’s parents arrived, especially because the lane was too small to accept insurance information from the driver. He said it made him question why the driver drove in the first place.
“Police should have been called here. Whenever you’re in an accident where you’ve injured someone.. It doesn’t matter what the kid says, it’s common sense that the police should have been called,” Marzaco said. and raises concerns.”
Lane had to wear a cast on his wrist for four weeks. Scheele said that a family friend who heard about the accident on social media surprised her with a new bicycle.
“You can’t hit someone with your car and it has to be like ‘It’s okay,'” Skishley said. “They need to report it. They should at least wait and talk to an adult and not take a child’s talk. He could have hurt more than he was.”
Read: Driver gets ticket after hitting and hitting pedestrian at Hershey Crosswalk
Read: Low-head dam where 11-year-old drowned, collapsed