UPDATE: 8-year-old sent to hospital after truck/bike collision

An 8-year-old girl was sent to the hospital after she collided with a pickup while riding her bike Monday afternoon.

She was airlifted to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines with non-life-threatening injuries, said Fort Dodge Police Lt. Dennis Mernka.

Her name was not immediately available.

The girl was riding north on South 16th Street, Mernka said, while a Chevy Silverado driven by John Griffin was coming west down Third Avenue South.

The girl did not stop at the stop sign, Mernka said. Griffin tried to swerve and avoid her, but was unable.

No citations were issued. Sixteenth Street has a stop sign at that intersection, while Third Avenue does not.

Two other kids were riding bikes with her, but were behind her when the accident happened.

The driver reported that cars parked in front of the body shop on the south side of the street, 1603 Third Ave. S., made it harder to see, according to Mernka.

“The truck couldn’t see her with the cars parked there,” Mernka said.

Justin Koster was sitting in front of the body shop on that corner, at 1603 Third Ave. S., and said he saw the girl riding back and forth across the street multiple times.

“She wasn’t stopping at the signs,” Koster said. “I watched that girl go across the road a couple times. This wasn’t her first time.”

Another witness to the accident said he sees close calls every day at this corner.

“There should be no parking here,” said Victor Musselman, who lives on the corner on the north side of Third Avenue. “Every day you see boats, pickups, forklifts, cars, you name it.”

He pointed to the cars parked along the south side of the avenue in front of the body shop, some of which were facing the wrong way along the one-way street.

“There are almost accidents every day,” he said.

Mernka said the car facing the wrong way was parked illegally.

“I spoke to the business owner. They’re going to move them,” Mernka said.

This accident was especially troubling because the victim was so young, Musselman added.

“That’s not two adults in cars,” Musselman said. “She’s just a baby.”

The girl was initially transported by ambulance to Trinity Regional Medical Center. The Fort Dodge Fire Department also responded to the scene.