Max Wyatt, the five-year-old Boise cyclist severely injured last month in collision with a minivan, continues to mend from his injuries, safety-minded cyclists and others heard Wednesday night at a meeting on making area cycling safer.
Sponsored by the Boise Bicycle Project, the meeting at the Rose Room drew about 100 people. The boy’s aunt, Kelly Blume, told the crowd that Max was fighting off complications from injuries he suffered in a Sept. 23 collision at Kootenai and Owyhee streets. Hospitalized in Salt Lake City, he will be coming home, doctors told the family Monday.
A GoFundMe campaign to support his medical expenses has so far raised nearly $80,000.
In the wake of the accident, Max’s family and safety advocates launched “The Max” campaign to support bike safety awareness. Among initiatives announced last night is an effort to build a smartphone app that will make it easier for cyclists to report incidents when they occur.
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“We know that there’s a lot of accidents that are occurring that aren’t even getting reported,” said Jimmy Hallyburton, of the Boise Bicycle Project. “And when they’re not reported, you have no real way of evaluating how we can treat this less as an accident and more as a crash that has factors that are preventable,” he said.
Hallyburton said the group hoped to unveil the app at the TreeFort music festival in March. They will enlist participants in HackFort, the tech spinoff, to build the app, starting in November.
Charges in the crash that injured Max Wyatt are still pending.
“We believe that the driver is at fault and intend to seek charges,” Blake Slater, a Boise Police bike patrol officer, said at Wednesday’s event.
Boise Cycle Tracks is a bike safety website that has mapped 1,195 crashes on area roads between 2007 and 2014. Speakers last night spoke of enlisting citizens to help map future incidents, and of creating scheduled bike “convoys” for groups of children traveling back and forth between home and school.
The Boise Bike Project has a free bike safety class for kids at 10 a.m. Saturday. The shop’s address is 1027 South Lusk St.