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10-Year-Old Boy Is First Cyclist Injured in Crash With Car Since Last School-Year’s Rash

| September 27, 2016

matthew bell bicycle crash

The crash took place on Emerald Lake Drive Saturday around noon. Click on the image for larger view.

Last school-year, seven young Flagler County students were involved in collisions with vehicles between September and December. One of them, a 7 year old, was killed.


Six were hurt, though none of them critically. The frequency of those crashes prompted the school board and Palm Coast government to study ways to reduce crashes and improve safety awareness among drivers and students. The effort included a safety video produced by students and a few redesigned school bus stops intended to pull students back from roadways as they wait for their school bus, though in the majority of crashes, driver error, not student error, was the cause.

There were no reported crashes past January or through the summer break. But on Saturday, Palm Coast recorded its first vehicle-vs-cyclist collision of the school-year, with a 10-year-old cyclist hospitalized with serious injuries.

The wreck took place at noon Sept. 24 on Emerald Lake Drive in Palm Coast Plantation. The Florida Highway Patrol preliminary investigation found both the cyclist and the driver to share blame.

Matthew Bell, the 10-year-old cyclist and resident of nearby North Riverwalk Drive, was cycling north on a sidewalk that runs perpendicular to Emerald Lake Drive. When he reached the road, he was unable to stop, and continued on–into the path of driver Nicholas W. Meyer, 28, of Orlando. Meyer was driving a Toyota Tacoma company vehicle owned by Massey Services, the pest control and lawn service company. He was going east.

Meyer’s Tacoma struck Bell’s left side, catapulting him, according to FHP’s reconstruction of the incident, several feet ahead of the vehicle and onto the roadway, and sending the bike onto the sidewalk.

An emergency helicopter was placed on stand-by. Bell was reported to be bleeding from the mouth at the scene, according to 911 notes, but he was conscious and talking, and said he had pains in his legs. He was later sitting on the sidewalk. His parents were contacted, and he was transported by ground to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. His injuries were determined to be “non-incapacitating,” according to the report.

The FHP report specifies that Meyer was “not distracted” at the time of impact, on a clear day with no obstructions in the roadway. But he was speeding: while Bell’s cycling into the roadway was “a contributing factor,” the report states, Meyer “was also a contributing factor due to the 38 feet of skid marks left at the scene, indicating that he was exceeding the posted speed limit.”

Sept. 24, 2016 Crash

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9 Responses for “10-Year-Old Boy Is First Cyclist Injured in Crash With Car Since Last School-Year’s Rash”

  1. Oh WOW says:

    Oh dear God. I hope the child is doing okay. So scary to let our children even ride their bikes in their own neighborhood. I remember when I was A child and I rode my bike everywhere. Back in the day there was not as many cars. Watch OUT.

  2. Markingthedays says:

    “Matthew Bell, 10, was struck by a Massey Services company vehicle speeding on Emerald Lake Drive in Palm Coast”

    This really should read “Matthew Bell, 10, drove into the path of an oncoming vehicle after ignoring a stop sign and other rules of the road”

  3. Sw says:

    Glad all are ok be careful and slow down

  4. 1st and Goal says:

    Markingthedays, the guy had 38 feet of skid marks!

    There is no need to “spin” things to make it all the child’s fault. 38 feet………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..X (Impact)

  5. Anonymous says:

    @Markingthedays I guess you missed the part where the driver left 38 ft. of skid marks on the road because he was speeding. And there is no indication that there was a sidewalk stop sign from the article. Not all sidewalks have them. Like the trooper said, both parties were at fault in this accident. Both of them could have paid better attention.

  6. Old Lady says:

    I hope that people who drive these town roads know where the BRAKE PEDAL is located

  7. Markingthedays says:

    I stand by my statement. I don’t need a sidewalk stop sign to tell me to stop at an intersection and look both ways before proceeding.

  8. Markingthedays says:

    “When he reached the road, he neglected to stop, even though he was on a pedestrian sidewalk, and continued on–into the path of driver Nicholas W. Meyer”

    I fixed it. My point is, you would walk out into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Why would you do the same on a bicycle?

  9. Markingthedays says:

    I’m no physicist, but according to the anecdotal evidence I’ve found, 38 feet of skid marks equals a speed of around 29 miles per hour. Hardly breakneck.

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