Bryce King’s life ended tragically on Feb. 3, 2006. Bryce was riding his bicycle south on Marsh Road when a DART bus struck, ran over and killed him after he passed a parked car. Police reports say that Bryce veered into the path of the bus, yet thinking logically, how would this be possible? State law, according to PennDot, is that bicyclists have the same rights as drivers on the road, and if proceeding at less than prevailing speeds of traffic, they must stay to the right. Bryce was on the right shoulder of Marsh Road when he attempted to pass a parked car, but he did not pass the white line marking the lane of traffic (Delaware Online). The bus driver then moved closer to the double yellow line on her left to give Bryce more space to move around the car (Delaware Online). By doing so, the bus driver acknowledged that his safety was in fact in jeopardy with the small distance between herself and his bicycle. Pennsylvania law states that while on the road with a bicyclist, you must have a three feet safe passing distance in order to pass said bicyclist (PennDot). According to police reports, Bryce veered into the bus’ path. The bus and Bryce were parallel to each other. If not, the driver would not have to move to her left to make room for him to pass a parked car on her immediate right. The police report also states that upon passing the parked car,”King veered into the pass of the bus,” but while passing the car, he never moved into the lane of traffic (Delaware Online). When the bus struck Bryce, the impact cracked the front passenger window (Wdel News). In order to have such an impact, the bus’ speed had to be significant. How is it physically possible for a bicyclist, never having been in the lane of traffic, to pedal at such a speed that he not only passes the bus but ends up in front of it?
It is of my belief that the bus driver saw Bryce, moved to her left to give him more room, and upon assuming he’d safely passed, moved back to her initial position– which by law she needed three feet clearance in order to do so, which, by the collision with Bryce, she did not have. “A vehicle must yield to a bicyclist when the bicyclist is proceeding at less than prevailing speeds and either change lanes or maintain a three feet safe passing distance.” (PennDot). The driver instilled this rule herself by moving out of Bryce’s way, she saw the distance was not safe, but took it upon herself to ignore the law. A case of bad judgement that resulted in a phenomenal teenager’s untimely death.
Bryce had an impact on more people than he ever knew, myself included. He was an amazing person, and overcame numerous obstacles.
“[He] surprised us all. Memories range from good to great; [he] never [was] not smiling and happy, always so helpful.. [he] will be missed, but not forgotten,” said Andrew Hutt, whom Bryce looked up to like the older brother he was so very lucky to have.
Lauren Valentin is a student at West Chester University.