San Leandro boy hit by car, seriously injured on way to school

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ByAlan Wang KGO logo
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
San Leandro boy hit by car, seriously injured on way to school
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Orion was struck by a car Wednesday morning walking his bike in a crosswalk on his way to school in San Leandro.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- Doctors say a 10-year-old boy is going to live after he was struck by a car while riding his bike to school, but he was badly hurt.

Police say neither the driver, nor the boy, are at fault in this accident. They say the boy was properly walking his bike in the crosswalk at Dutton Avenue and Arbor Drive, and the driver was going the speed limit. However, the morning sun blinded the driver and he never saw the boy until he felt the impact.

The joy of riding his bike to school for the first time this year changed in an instant when Orion Benson was rushed to the hospital after being struck by a Chevy Tahoe. His mother, Sandy Benson, was waiting for him to arrive at Washington Elementary School in San Leandro.

"I looked down the street to my right and about four blocks away there was a fire truck, ambulance and a bunch of police cars, and my heart dropped," Benson said.

The SUV, going 25 mph, struck Orion while he was walking his bike in the crosswalk. It knocked him unconscious. Police were initially told it was a fatality.

"I saw his tennis shoes in the middle of the street and that's when I knew it was him," Sandy said.

The impact threw Orion 30 feet breaking his leg, arm, collar bone, ribs and pelvis. Miraculously, he escaped a serious head injury.

"If he wasn't wearing his helmet, I would be planning a funeral right now," Sandy said.

San Leandro police went above and beyond by paying a visit to Orion in the hospital. The officer who cut his clothes off at the scene even bought him a new outfit.

"A lot of us are fathers. We're the sports coaches. These are the things that we can relate to on a daily basis and it shakes us up," San Leandro Police Lt. Robert McManus said.

Orion's mother calls the officers her heroes.

Meanwhile, police are calling this accident the perfect example for why bicyclists should wear a helmet.

If you would like to help cover Orion's medical costs, click here.