Wednesday, May 20

TR - Exploring Sand Creek Greenway on a Hooky Day

Mandy went with Boone's class to the zoo today, so I took the day off so she wouldn't have to manage chaperoning and Lily.

So Lily and I went for a bike ride to explore the Sand Creek Greenway. We dropped Boone off at school and then Lil and I headed through downtown across to the South Platte Trail. We cruised along at a good clip all the way to the junction with and western terminus of the Sand Creek Trail.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway traverses through a heavy industrial area. The creek is very beautiful at times and we saw a lot of wildlife (prairie dogs and their puppies!), but the surrounding landscape looks like something out of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie.

Lily was a good rider and we got out a couple of times to stretch our legs and we found one little neighborhood pocket park where Lily got to swing for a while.

We rode the Sand Creek all the way to its eastern terminus at Colfax, then rode a little ways down to the Highline Canal Trail which we followed til it intersected 6th Avenue but not before changing a goathead flat on the trailer.

We turned our richshaw train west and rolled along 6th Avenue, crossing intersections like pedestrians. I wouldn't have chosen the route I did if I hadn't been pulling Lily in the trailer, but it made the most sense considering.

At one intersection a woman approached the crosswalk (her light was red) with her head down in texting mode and she came to a rest half blocking the painted crosswalk area. I was watching as we started across and had slowed, but had to maneuver around the front of her car to continue. So as a friendly reminder to keep her attention on the road I smacked her hood pretty hard as we passed. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the look on her face. I hope it startled the phone out of her hand.

A few blocks later however I heard and then saw something that turned my stomach. We were traveling west on the north side of 6th, just before Geneva and I heard a commotion on the south side of the road. I looked over just in time to see a kid's body tumbling through the air, his BMX bike slammed to the ground in front of a white (or light colored) Cavalier or something similar. I did see the kid hit the ground, but not the car hit him.

What it looked like happened was two Hispanic kids, about 14 or 15 were crossing the side street along the sidewalk. The first kid made it all the way across, but the car caught the second kid. The driver had stopped at the point of impact which was well back from the edge of 6th, but still in line with the sidewalk. He had been making a right to head east on 6th, the two boys were traveling west on the sidewalk. They all should have been able to see each other fairly clearly.

The driver got out of the car and asked the kid if he was ok. The kid slowly dragged himself to his feet, left leg straight out behind him, seeming to ignore the driver. He managed to stand as the first kid came back to help him. He picked up the dropped slushie and both of them ambled to the corner as the driver looked on helplessly. It was apparent that the kid was in pain, but he was walking.

I had stopped and was prepared to call 911 if the kid was hurt. Since he was on his feet I held off, waiting to see what the driver would do. I was across six lanes of traffic so I couldn't do much to help immediately, though I was ready to cross and help if need be.

I had noticed an Aurora police cruiser at the intersection Lily and I had just crossed. The police officer had been facing south at a red light. She should have had a fairly clear view of the incident. I looked back just in time to see the cruiser continue south through the intersection and out of sight.

I looked back just in time to see the driver get back in the car and pull out, a tree blocking my view of his diminishing license plate. The kids continued slowly west down the sidewalk, I called out to them but they didn't seem to hear me.

An unreported injury accident. I know I should have called 911 anyway. I know I probably should have crossed over and made sure that the kid was ok. He really needed to let his parents know about it in case he had serious internal injuries or broken bones.

We continued west, I was a bit shaken and eventually we returned home unscathed ourselves.

It was a good ride except for the accident.

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