CEDAR CITY — A teenage boy was critically injured after being hit by a sport-utility vehicle Monday while riding a dirt bike down a residential road in Cedar City in the dark.
Iron County Sheriff's Sgt. Jody Edwards said Tanner Olsen was taken to a Las Vegas hospital by medical helicopter. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered a compound fracture and significant head injuries, Edwards said. The accident occurred after 7 p.m.
Family members were following the boy in a car as he was riding on Panorama Drive in the Cross Hollows Hills subdivision of Iron County.
They were riding home and their house was right next door, so they were just about there.
Jenni Wilson, Olsen's neighbor, said Olsen, his brother and father were at a friend's house down the street. They had a dirt bike there, which Olsen decided to ride home. Authorities said the bike didn't have any lights, so Olsen's father drove his car behind the bike, the car's headlights providing light for Olsen.
"They were riding home and their house was right next door, so they were just about there," Wilson said.
The driver of an SUV pulling out of a driveway saw the headlights of the slowly approaching car but did not see the dirt bike. The SUV hit the teenager, throwing him from the motorbike.
"He was moaning," Wilson said. "His dad had jumped out of the truck and was holding him."
The dirt bike is not considered "street legal" because it did not have a lighting kit, Edwards said. The teen was not wearing a helmet, which neighbors said is out of the ordinary for the boy.
"I think they're generally really careful," Wilson said. "It's just an odd circumstance."