Mother of 8-year-old bicyclist hit in Point Breeze says he should survive

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Bike advocates will ride through Point Breeze this evening in a show of support for an 8-year-old boy who was struck by a SUV while riding on Monday.

The group will meet at Lexington and Reynolds streets at 5 p.m., where Iain Thomas Engle-Roe was hit while riding with his twin sister and his father a day earlier, police said.

Iain was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC late Monday afternoon. Police described his condition as critical but stable.

His mother, Kristen Engle, said he's still intubated and in a lot of pain this afternoon, but is expected to survive.

"He smiled at his sister," she said.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, Ms. Engle's husband and daughter were heading north when an SUV, intending to make a turn, stopped to let them cross the road, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.

"The [vehicle] proceeded to make the turn, not seeing the 8-year-old was coming right behind" his family, Ms. Richard said.

Detectives questioned the female driver of the SUV, who stayed at the scene.

Ms. Richard said it's too early to say whether charges will be filed. Pittsburgh police crash investigators were not available Tuesday.

For the Engle family, who moved to Point Breeze from Zurich, Switzerland, a year-and-a-half ago, cycling is a way of life -- especially for Iain and Greer, Shady Side Academy second-graders.

"They're fanatic over cycling like a Pittsburgh kid would be over the Steelers," said Ms. Engle, who was not present at the time of Monday's crash.

The family has a single car and the parents commute to work by bike. Ms. Engle is a member of Bike Pittsburgh, the nonprofit advocacy group.

The route Monday was a familiar one: The three were heading toward the Homewood Cemetery, where they could ride without the threat of cars.

"They're safe riders," Ms. Engle said. "Helmets, gloves -- even in the summer."

Ms. Engle said Greer described seeing her brother getting pinned underneath the SUV and dragged on the road.

Her first thought: "He is most surely dead," her mother said.

Two men died last summer in Point Breeze after they were hit by cars while riding bikes on Penn Avenue, about three blocks from each other.

There are a lot of friendly riders in Pittsburgh, Ms. Engle said.

"But the city is not a friendly place to ride," she said.

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Molly Born:, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede. Jon Schmitz contributed. First Published April 22, 2013 9:45 PM


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