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Kimberlee Hatcher's picture
Joined: 09/18/2007
Posts: 25
To the person who drove into my son and his bike with their car today, and to all drivers in our community:

First thing, for those of you reading this post, yes, he is okay. Bumps and bruises will heal. It went something like this: my son (14 years old) was riding his bike on the sidewalk and was just about to head out into the street past some very low hanging trees to cross the street when he saw a car and slammed on his brakes, his front tire out in the gutter of the street. The car was turning right, at a stop sign, which it was rolling through (yes, the famous California stop we all joke about).

The driver's head was turned left the entire time, looking for oncoming traffic, but never once checked back to the right before rolling on through the stop sign very close to the curb and driving into and over my son's bike, which he was lucky enough to jump off of backwards/sideways to avoid getting run over by the car. My son said it was like slow motion, but then suddenly realizing he was on the ground but okay.

I give the driver credit for getting out of the car, apologizing (my son saying, it's okay), and offering to pay for his bike to be fixed (my son, gentleman that he is, said no, it's okay). What I don't understand is the fact that the driver then proceeded get back in the car and leave my son there, on the sidewalk, with a crunched, unridable bike, leaving no name, phone number, no offer of a ride home, no offer to call security, no offer to use a cell phone to call a parent to come and get him home. This driver just DROVE OFF AND LEFT HIM THERE. I can only think this person was in shock and wasn't thinking clearly themselves.

While I thank God that my son walked away with a few bruises and a scrape or two and a healthy fear of the dangers of cars vs people, I am sad and angry that anyone, especially in the fantastic community of caring people, would leave a child in that situation, especially when that person had a hand in the situation. I am so aware that the phone call I got from my son about the accident could have been a very different kind of phone call if the timing had been just a tad different, I can't bear to think about it. Thank you so much to the people who live on the corner of that street who came out to help him and offered him a ride home and asked if he needed help.

The worst part of this for my son besides being afraid to go back out on the street: his bike, which was his method of transportation to some of the odd jobs he has been doing this past year to earn his Student Ambassador tuition for his delegation trip in July, is ruined. The bike was given to him by one of the many generous people who have hired him to do yard work, pet sitting, babysitting and other jobs, and he will have to replace it with some of his trip funds, or do without it for now.

The point of my lengthy (sorry) Forum Post is please, please. please, I urge you to pay attention, don't roll around those blind corners, don't cut turns, please slow down and look around you, STOP at the stop signs, look back the way you are headed BEFORE you turn the corner. Please drive just a little bit safer tomorrow, stay a little more alert, an extra second or two is all it takes. We aren't looking for the driver or actively pursuing anything, I just want people to be aware, and to think, and to DO THE RIGHT THING, stick around and make sure the kid has an adult present to help before you leave. Thank you.

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RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Giving Matt a hand...

Matt has made quite an impression on everyone he has dealt with. He shouldn't have to reach into his hard-earned trip money to replace the bike. Maybe others will step up too, but here's pledge of $50 to help Matt get started on a new bike.

Tom Rhoades's picture
Joined: 07/30/2007
Posts: 27


I have a nice bike your son can have if he needs one.

I live on the south side.

My cell number tomorrow is 916-595-2165.


Tom Rhoades


Wyatt Gaylor's picture
Joined: 08/24/2007
Posts: 63
Surprised it hasn't happened more often

Living off of Guadalupe and Pera we have a stop sign that many people will roll through or not even slowdown and never look in my direction, especially in the mornings. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for our community and we don't have anymore accidents like this.


I am glad your son is okay!

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Please post in the RVT also

I hope you will also post this in the River Valley Times Letter to the Editor. This way all of R.M. will be able to read about it. The e-mail address is: rvt@herburger.net

I'm so glad Matt is ok, I know his grandmother B.J. and I know how proud she is of her grandchildren.


Kimberlee Hatcher's picture
Joined: 09/18/2007
Posts: 25
Thank You

Thank you so much to everyone for your support. I have heard that the crash on 16 ended badly, but haven't seen confirmation, thoughts and prayers to everyone involved.

Matthew's grandpa looked at his bike and thought with a new front tire and some rebending of the fork that holds it, he might be able to fix it. It looks like a pretzel to me, but I'm not mechanically inclined, so I don't know. Everyone is so generous to offer donations, Tom, we may be calling you, I'm not sure if it's safe to ride a bike that's been kind of crunched, anyone have any expertise there?

I hadn't thought about a letter to the editor, Beth, thanks, I'll look into it. I just want to see something done before we have that tragedy on our streets that could've been my son today. Of course accidents do happen, but I'd like to see more people being proactive and really look for good solutions to some of our traffic enforcement issues out here. Kudos to Security for taking a full report and taking me very seriously, they were great, as was CHP.


Erin Reed's picture
Joined: 08/20/2007
Posts: 136
Bike donations-Matthew Hatcher

You are right......he should not have to dip into his hard earned money for a bike.  If that donation does not come through for a bike, use our donation toward your trip.  Our $25.00 is on it's way.....we hired Matthew Hatcher to put together a table for our deck and it proved to be harder than expected to assemble.  Grandpa joined him and they worked really hard.  Matthew is a really nice young man and I hope people are calling him for projects as he is willing to work and dependable.  Good luck, Matthew!

Kim Smith's picture
Joined: 08/23/2007
Posts: 37
Matthew, you have a great reputation!

Thank God your son wasn't seriously injured.  What a blessing- it sounds like it could have been a very different story had he not been watching. 

You have $25 coming from us, Matthew.  Use it towards a new bike, or towards your trip.  You have worked hard and have built yourself a wonderful reputation based solely on your work ethic and character-- my hat's off to your parents for raising a great young man. 

Looks like you have an offer from Tom Rhodes to get you up and riding asap!  This is what makes me proud to call Murieta home. 

 Keep up the good work, Matthew, and make sure to send pictures back while you're gone!  I know I'm not the only one out here who would love to see how your trip goes!

Chuck Lentz's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 116

On the parkway by Delacruise,, Lady and hiusband ran the stop sign in a golf cart.  I rolled the window down and yelled "That sign  said Stop"!  Tipically, they continued on.  Pathetically sick, they have no idea what they teach the young kids.  Not the place I came to live in 22 years ago. Enough is Enough.  Answer, Kick them the Hell out of Here!

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