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A JBC member makes it in the news at the expense of a fellow cyclist’s misfortune.

August 19, 2011

Thank you to all who are considering visiting Sam Bellett today. We feel it the right thing and very least we could to do, as it was his suffering which prompted a JBC representative to speak about cyclist safety and awareness on local television. It is a bittersweet victory for us to be allotted some air time over another man’s misfortune. Sam is currently in a coma but we will keep tabs on him and postpone this visit until he is feeling better and will, of course, let all of you know the status. Thank you for your support.

Click on the link to the Action News Jax video to learn more about the story and to watch Goliath speak out about cyclist rights and the challenges we face specific to Jacksonville:

Story from Action News Jax –

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 16-year-old Mandarin High School student is in critical condition following a bicycle accident Thursday morning.Samuel Bellett was riding his bike to cross country practice, when he attempted to cross Greenland Road, just east of the high school, around 6:15 AM.  Bellett was not wearing a helmet, and was unable to stop before being hit by an SUV.

Bellett was rushed to UF and Shands Jacksonville with life threatening injuries.

Bellett’s grandfather, Paul Sluder, told Action News that his grandson suffered a broken left leg, skull fracture and that doctors continued to run tests Thursday afternoon to determine the extent of his internal injuries.

“Right now, they are weaning him off the ventilator to let him breathe on his own,” Sluder said Thursday night.
Sluder tells Action News his grandson is still in a medically induced coma.

Bellett is a junior and his grandfather says he was excited to begin his first year on the cross country team. Almost half of the team, coaches, principal and athletic director visited the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Bellett is the oldest of four children. His family is by his side.

No word on whether the driver of the SUV will face any charges. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Aduster permalink
    August 20, 2011 8:36 PM

    The “reason” the boy was unable to stop before the SUV hit him is that the kid never even looked for oncoming traffic before he darted onto Greenland Road from the sidewalk, nor did he stop, and he was wearing ear phones for music. He just dashed into the vehicle itself…bike hit the car at front right headlight on the far right side. The driver had NO time to react. No helmet, no stopping, no looking. Broke all bicycle road rules.

    • Family of Sam permalink
      June 26, 2013 7:14 PM

      That cyclist was my nephew. My understanding is that the light (in front of a SCHOOL ZONE) was flashing yellow — for caution for pedestrians and bicyclists and YIELD for motorists. The light was flashing yellow as school had officially not started.

      During the school year, the light flashes RED — requiring a complete stop for pedestrians and cyclists. As a motorist for over 40 years, I ALWAYS yield to cyclists, runners, walkers, ect. As a motorist for over 40 years, I ALWAYS am much, much more cautious around a school zone, as kids (of any age) don’t always use the best judgment. The driver who hit Sam was a commercial vehicle operator who should have known better. That’s not just my opinion. That is a fact. So for ‘Adjuster’ — go pound sand. Judgment for the plaintiff.

      • June 26, 2013 7:24 PM

        Precisely. Thank God he survived.

        As for Aduster and all the many thousands of people in this city who refuse to ever even once sympathize with the pedestrian or cyclist who got injured or killed, I do not understand why they are like that here. It’s not so nasty like that in other cities.

        Yes, when a school zone sign is flashing – yellow or red – you have to be cautious and drive slowly, especially when you actually see a child in your sights. It’s called THE LAW. Kids are notorious for not being fully developed in their dexterity and thoroughly savvy when riding bikes or even walking on sidewalks to and from school. This is the very reason they have school zone signs to begin with.

        Family of Sam – Whatever happened with the case? Was the driver excused?

      • Family of Sam permalink
        June 28, 2013 4:20 PM

        Sam graduated high school 1 1/2 years after the accident with National Honor Society and an Advanced International Certificate of Education honors (in addition to a hefty scholarship, which he will use when he leaves for college this fall).

        Listen, drivers — (whom I presume are many of the thousands of people of Jacksonville who refuse to even once sympathize with the pedestrian or cyclist) who was injured or killed — where do you get off??! You folks are in a CAR / TRUCK, whatever…so you’re a little inconvenienced, so you have to make room or go a little slower or pay more attention. YOU’RE not the one who’s life is in danger because YOU’RE on the road…worst case for you is you’ll have to spend a minute talking to your insurance company. I personally live in Chicago — a big, big city with lots and lots and lots of pedestrians, bicyclists, runners, walkers…and I think we are more intelligent, more sympathetic, and have a better quality of life because we make accommodations without argument for those of us who ask to share the (appropriate) roadways with others who are not driving. How much does it really hurt you or your conscience to yield the right of way?

      • July 1, 2013 4:49 PM

        The motorists are very different here, that’s for sure. They haven’t learned the rules of the road, the right of way rules, how to share the road with all forms of users, or apparently common decency toward your fellow man. It’s a weird car-centric culture here and it has resulted in a lot of senseless and preventable fatalities and injuries.

  2. Aduster permalink
    August 20, 2011 8:39 PM

    I am very sorry for the boy and for his family, and sincerely wish a total recovery. But it is so frustrating to be a regular driver following traffic rules, and have a careless cyclist slam into your vehicle. Even as a teenager, the boy was just not paying attention. So sad but true. Best wishes to the family and the boy.

  3. August 21, 2011 4:09 PM

    Thank you for your input. And for the quotation marks around the word “reason”.

    I do not believe there is any “reason” for one to be so pissed at the cyclist as you apparently are according to how you decided to respond to this article.

  4. August 21, 2011 6:36 PM

    As a hometown native, this is precisely why motorists and cyclists have a hard time seeking common ground regarding respect, road rules, and equal rights as citizens to the asphalt in Duval (America’s third most notorious city for vehicular caused injuries and fatalities for pedestrians and cyclists). I think ‘Aduster’s’ comment(s) are quite belittling to the young man’s body and his well being. You are infuriating, redundant, and without compassion. You seem more concerned over metal and machine than that of a boy’s soul. Infrastructure aside, we need more awareness raised and proper presentation of human powered vehicles and their masters rights upon the road. I think motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike could all use a crash course in common decency, and The Golden Rule: “treat others as you wish to be treated”, and Aduster the next time you run into a two ton SUV (whether your fault OR theirs) remind me to pray and send you some half-hearted remorse as well…OR wait do you have the infallible and permeable features installed on your bicycle?

  5. Concerned Parent permalink
    August 23, 2011 1:54 AM

    A witness said the light was blinking. Was it blinking red? On the morning news it was blinking red in the background. Over the summer it had been blinking yellow. If it was red then the driver was supposed to treat that red blinking light as a 4 way stop sign which would mean the boy had the right of way. Hmmm…I wonder if the walk/don’t walk would have been on “walk.” And really, would it matter? When you see a kid on a bike near a school the driver should always drive with caution.

  6. Parent permalink
    September 29, 2011 5:51 AM

    Amen and Amen. I agree with Concerned Parent. I was also taught rules for cyclists, but, being a driver, with a license, I have always understood that pedestrians and cyclists have to be watched carefully. My son was accidentally hit by a driver in our neighborhood as a child, at no fault of the driver, but no one even would have thought to have blamed either person. Driving a vehicle is both a privilege and a big responsibility since a vehicle is really a weapon.

    • September 29, 2011 1:53 PM

      My goodness. I hope your son was okay. It is my hope that perhaps someday Florida’s DMV will inject into their program much more bike awareness and bike riding safety instructions, as well as general laws that both motorists and cyclists must abide by.

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