WEST JORDAN — A 12-year-old girl was hit by a van while riding home from school and officials said her life was saved because she was wearing a helmet.
Cammy Howe was just inches away from getting crushed when the van ran over the front end of her bike two weeks ago in West Jordan. The impact of the crash threw her to the ground along 3200 West and shattered her helmet.
“It is very scary to think what could have happened,” Howe said.
Officers said the driver of the van looked both ways while pulling out of a parking lot but didn’t see Howe coming. They ran right over the front of her bike.
"I saw the front of (the) car and it was turning into my bike. Next thing I remember, I was in the street. It was very, very scary... what happened to my leg, because it was hurting. I was scared that I would die," Howe said. "Yes, I feel very lucky to have been wearing my helmet, because I don't want my head to have been smashed or anything."
Howe’s only injury was a badly scraped up ear that needed some stitches.
Amber Zdunich, Joel P. Middle School vice principal, was the first school administrator on the scene. She also credited the helmet for saving Howe’s life.
“It saved her. It absolutely saved her,” Zdunich said. “She was on the ground, the helmet was off and it was shattered.”
Officials with the West Jordan Police Department said this is a clear example of why kids should be wearing helmets and why drivers need to always be watchful.
“Sometimes when we are driving vehicles we are looking for other vehicles. We are not looking for pedestrians, we are not looking for bikes — it’s just one more thing we are not paying attention to,” said West Jordan Police Sergeant J.C. Holt.
Officers wanted to do something to help after the accident, so they gathered their own money and bought Howe a brand new bike exactly like the one that was destroyed.
The West Jordan officers also provided a new helmet.
“I think it’s cool. I think it’s a great act of humanity on their part. They were able to build for her basically the same bike that she had down to very small details, (like) a personalized rack on the back,” Holt said. “An unfortunate thing to happen but a very good outcome.”