Boy, 3, hit by 'speeding' cyclist while jogging with dad at park connector
Cyclist crashes into three-year-old at park connector
It was three-year-old Kyle's first jog with his dad at the park connector and he was looking forward to it.
That, and his favourite Milo drink after the 2km jog.
But after a cyclist crashed into the boy while he was walking with his father at the park connector to the coffee shop, jogging may be out of the question for the next few days.
Kyle has been unable to eat or chew after the accident at a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians at Sungei Serangoon Park Connector last Sunday morning.
The child suffered from a torn lip, a cut on his chin and abrasions on his head and knee. He also lost a tooth.
His father, Mr Lin Jianxiong, recalled his shock when he saw a cyclist heading towards his only child from the opposite direction.
"My son was about 2m ahead of me. He was distracted by the park's fitness corner and was walking towards it," said the 32-year-old engineer who claimed that the cyclist was speeding.
"I shouted at my son to move away but it was too late."
Mr Lin, who had only $20 with him, asked the cyclist after the accident if he knew of any clinics nearby and for cash so that Kyle could seek medical treatment immediately.
"The cyclist passed me $10 before taking out another $20. He apologised to me and looked like he was at a loss, too."
Mr Lin then carried Kyle, whom he said was crying and bleeding profusely from his mouth, and hurried back to their home in Hougang, about 2km away.
In his panic, Mr Lin did not ask the cyclist for his details.
"At that time, I was just concerned about stopping my son's bleeding," he said, adding that he was also worried that Kyle could have swallowed a tooth.
"He had a tooth missing and I couldn't find it."
When they got home, Mr Lin and his wife called for an ambulance after their son threw up. They said there was phlegm and blood in the vomit.
Kyle was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where he got three stitches for his cut and an X-ray. Fortunately, there were no broken bones.
Kyle's ordeal was posted on Facebook by his mum, housewife Kaslyn Tan, 26, who also made a police report on Sunday.
The post has since been shared more than 10,000 times.
Madam Tan wrote in her post: "While my husband may be at fault for not holding onto (sic) our son's hand 24/7 whenever outdoors, saying that 'I CANNOT BRAKE' or 'MY BICYCLE NO BRAKE' but yet going at a high speed is an unacceptable excuse.
"People have to know that it is never okay to risk others' safety at any point of time."
In her post, Madam Tan described the cyclist as a man in his 40s, about 1.65m tall and dressed in cycling gear.
She also appealed for help to identify the cyclist.
She added: "If you are the cyclist, please. Have a heart and own up. We just want a peaceful closure."
Mr Lin said that the usually bubbly Kyle was traumatised by the accident.
He added: "Kyle didn't talk for a few hours. When he finally spoke, he said that the bicycle was so fast and it hit him.
"He also kept pointing to his mouth and said that it was painful."
Mr Lin, who occasionally jogs at the park connector, said he will not take Kyle there anymore.
"It is not safe," he added.
"I've encountered cyclists speeding on the path. Children just don't have the ability to dodge them."
The police have confirmed that a report has been made.
Safe Cycling Task Force president: Look out for each other
The cyclist who knocked down three-year-old Kyle was equipped for speed.
Kyle's father, Mr Lin Jianxiong, noticed that the cyclist's feet were clipped in to the cleat pedals.
Cyclists who are unfamiliar with the use of cleat pedals can get seriously injured or injure others when they fail to take their feet off the pedals, said Mr Francis Chu, co-founder of cycling group Love Cycling SG.
"The advantage of cleat pedals is that you can use both legs to power the bike at the same time. It also helps to increase the power to climb or to accelerate," added Mr Chu.
According to NParks rules, cyclists have to keep to a speed of 15kmh at park connectors.
But it eventually boils down to the behaviour of both cyclists and pedestrians, said Mr Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force.
"It's not about the infrastructure. Although there are dedicated bicycle lanes at East Coast Park, there are still many accidents," said Mr Lim.
"Pedestrians should keep a lookout, especially if they have kids.
"Cyclists should also realise that they should slow down when there are different kinds of users, especially children."
Mr Chu agreed about keeping to speed limits.
"The root cause of any serious danger is the faster users," he said.
"So we need to start informing the faster users to slow down when they approach slower path users."
Singapore Red Cross, which runs the First Aider On Wheels that serves the community at East Coast Park and Pulau Ubin on weekends and public holidays, has treated over 5,000 people at both places since 2012.
Common injuries include abrasions, fractures and jellyfish stings.
Mr Peter Tung, 45, volunteer and programme coordinator of First Aider On Wheels, has seen his fair share of injuries among cyclists and has one piece of advice for them: "Don't speed and always wear a helmet."
When sharing paths...
Tips for cyclists sharing paths with pedestrians, such as park connectors:
- Keep to your left.
- Always be aware and alert of other users.
- Ring the bell only when necessary.
- Give way to other pedestrians and cyclists.
- Stay on track. Look out for path marks which guide cyclists and pedestrians.
Source: Land Transport Authority