KATY, Texas (KTRK) — A 14-year-old was riding his bike to school when he was hit and killed in what the Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office called a major crash near an elementary school in Katy.
The crash was reported at about 7:35 a.m. Thursday on Mason Road and Cinco Park, which is close to Betty Sue Creech Elementary School.
The teen was riding his bike to Cinco Ranch High School, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. He was in the crosswalk, officials said.
Two good Samaritans at the scene tried to render aid and provide CPR to the student, who died.
The driver, who is in his early 20s, stayed at the scene and cooperated with officials.
However, it’s possible he would face charges under the Lisa Torry Smith Act, commonly known as the Crosswalk Law.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the act into law on June 18, 2021. It went into effect that September. It requires drivers to “stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.”
It requires drivers to come to a full stop for any pedestrians or cyclists who are in the intersection.
It’s a felony for a driver to cause serious bodily injury to a pedestrian legally in a crosswalk.
The act is named for a mother who was walking her 6-year-old son to school in Missouri City in 2017. She and her son, Logan, were in a crosswalk near the school when a driver hit them. Smith, who was just 37 years old, died from her injuries. Logan had serious injuries, but survived.
The average speed for a vehicle to cause death to a pedestrian is 22 to 35 mph, Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan said.
“Twenty-two miles per hour can kill. That’s why the speed limit is 20mph. it’s on the onus of the drivers,” Fagan added.
He also said that the student, whose identity has not been released, did the right thing by using the crosswalk.
Authorities noted that this is the second time in two weeks that there’s been a tragedy like this in Fort Bend County.
On Sept. 22, the victim, identified as Donald Yeager, was walking his dog in New Territory when a driver failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk. That person was flown to the hospital, where he died.
The driver, identified as Bao Giang, in last week’s incident, is believed to be the first person in the state to be arrested under the act.
Katy ISD released a statement following Thursday’s deadly incident.
“The Cinco Ranch High School community is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of one of our students. We extend our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time and offer them our love and support while protecting their right to privacy. The school, with the full support of Katy ISD, is utilizing every resource available to provide the community with counseling services as we safeguard their emotional wellbeing,” the statement said.